U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and U.S. Representative Jerry Costello (D-IL) joined Mayors Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Tom Hoechst of Alton today in announcing that Illinois will receive a total of $44,288,000 in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant funding for three Illinois projects in the Chicagoland area and Alton. The grants represent approximately 8 percent of total funding available through the program.
"Two years ago, I worked in the Senate to develop the TIGER grant program which gives local communities and mayors the ability to apply directly to the federal government to fund projects that they identify as having a positive economic impact on their community," said Durbin. "Illinois has benefitted greatly from the TIGER grant program due to the hard work of local officials and organizations in close coordination with the state and federal government. These investments will create hundreds of good-paying jobs across our state."
Today's announcement follows Governor Quinn's recent trip to Washington D.C. to meet with the state congressional delegation where they discussed avenues where Illinois and the federal government can work more closely together to benefit the state's 13 million residents: "This investment is just one of the many results of the outstanding cooperation between local, state, and the federal government that will keep Illinois strong," said Governor Quinn. "This funding will strengthen our state's transportation system that is vital to growing our economy and creating jobs. I want to thank Sen. Durbin and Rep. Costello for their continued leadership in Washington on behalf of Illinois."
"This is an important regional and national project that will make our transportation system more efficient and fully leverage the impact of high speed rail," said Costello. "Linking together all of our modes - rail, highways, waterways and aviation - is critical for economic development and job creation. The City of Alton and the entire bi-state region is perfectly located to be a transportation hub and this funding will further these goals. I have worked closely with city officials and Secretary LaHood on this project, and I will continue to support efforts to modernize our transportation infrastructure."
The following projects will receive funding under today's announcement:
$20,000,000 - Chicago Transit Authority's Blue Line/Chicago Bike Share Program
Today's TIGER grant funding for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will help complete a project to repair 3.6 miles of track on the CTA's Blue Line between Damen Avenue and Belmont Avenue finishing all track improvements between Chicago's Downtown Loop and O'Hare International Airport. The TIGER grant will also help jumpstart Chicago's planned bike-sharing program. This project targets deteriorated track in the remaining area of the Blue Line between the Loop and O'Hare Airport which has not yet been completed. It will alleviate CTA maintenance and operating costs, improve the deteriorated infrastructure and allow for shorter headways between trains. The bike-share program will give Chicagoans access to bike-share facilities at and around CTA bus and rail stations, giving travelers another option to get to their final destination.
"Chicago is a city on the move," said Mayor Emanuel. "Revitalizing and modernizing our infrastructure is critical to creating jobs, maintaining our competitiveness, and enhancing the quality of life of residents throughout the city. I want to thank Senator Durbin, Representative Luis Gutierrez and the Illinois delegation for their support and recognizing that this TIGER grant will help ensure we provide a solid foundation for the city's future."