Governor gives public works wish list to Obama transition team
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[December 09, 2008]
CHICAGO -- Responding to
President-elect Barack Obama's pledge to create a massive public
works program to stimulate the nation's economy, Gov. Rod R.
Blagojevich in his weekly radio address Saturday commended Obama for
his commitment to putting Americans back to work in this national
In anticipation of a federal stimulus package that would invest
in infrastructure, Blagojevich's administration has identified and
provided to the Obama transition team a list of nearly 300 highway,
transit, airport and railway infrastructure projects that are ready
to begin immediately. These projects are estimated to cost $2.37
billion to complete and are estimated to put more than 94,000
Illinoisans to work. In addition, the state has provided a list of
over 150 projects at public colleges and universities that could put
an additional 14,600 Illinoisans to work and generate almost $4.8
billion in economic activity at a cost of over $2 billion.
"The national recession has hurt Illinois workers. In 2008 alone,
Illinois has lost over 50,000 jobs," Blagojevich said.
"President-elect Obama understands the need to create an
infrastructure program that creates jobs. I commend him for his
commitment to revitalizing our economy, and I pledge that as soon as
a national infrastructure plan is passed, our state will begin
projects and put Illinoisans back to work."
administration has identified projects including such things as
additional lanes on roads, resurfacing, bridge repair, CTA slow-zone
eliminations, Metra station and yard improvements, Pace paratransit
vehicles, downstate transit facilities, passenger and rail freight
improvements, and runway and taxiway extensions at Illinois
Transportation and transit
252 projects to
improve the condition of roads and bridges and add additional
lanes to improve Illinois' transportation infrastructure, at an
estimated cost of $783 million.
22 projects to
improve tracks, stations and yards, and purchase vehicles to
improve mass transit, at an estimated cost of $1.213 billion.
14 projects to
improve passenger and commercial rail infrastructure, at an
estimated cost of $333 million.
11 runway and taxiway extensions at
Illinois airports, at a cost of $42 million.
Examples of major transportation and
transit projects included are:
Amtrak service across Illinois, including new service to
Rockford and the Quad Cities, which is estimated to provide
slow zones for CTA trains, which is estimated to provide 4,300
additional lanes on U.S. 45 in Lake County, estimated to provide
Interstate 57 in Williamson, Franklin and Jefferson counties,
estimated to provide 1,700 jobs.
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additional lanes on Illinois 47 in McHenry County, expected to
provide 1,600 jobs.
on I-55 at Illinois 162 in Madison County, estimated to provide
Completion of the
Alton Bypass in Madison County, estimated to provide 1,400 jobs.
additional lanes on Illinois 22 in Lake County, estimated to
provide 900 jobs.
Rolling stock for CTA, Metra, Pace,
downstate paratransit and Amtrak, estimated to create 18,500
Earlier last week, Blagojevich traveled to Philadelphia to meet
with other governors and the president-elect to discuss how the
federal government can assist states in addressing their struggling
economies as well as their state budget shortfalls. As part of the
governor's four-pronged plan to manage Illinois' $2 billion budget
deficit, he has requested increased direct federal stimulus aid,
which would not only help to alleviate the projected revenue
shortfall for fiscal year 2009, but also help Illinois stabilize its
Illinois is not alone in facing a fiscal 2009 budget shortfall
due to lower-than-projected revenues. At the meeting with Obama and
48 of the nation's governors, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, chairman
of the National Governor's Association, said 43 of 50 states
currently face budget deficits.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]