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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $16.9 Million in Grants for Illinois Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by expanding highway repairs, improving safety at rail crossings and studying possible new I-66 alignment

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $16.9 million in grants for Illinois to fund an array of highway-related efforts ranging from interstate repairs and improved rail-grade crossing safety to researching a new alignment of I-66 spanning southern Illinois.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Illinois residents as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. - more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Illinois received funding for the following projects:

Supplement funding for reconstruction of I-57, the state's second-highest highway priority $3,750,000
I-66 Phase 1 Study to evaluate most feasible alignment of I-66 between Paducah, KY and I-55 in Missouri $3,600,000
Installation of pedestrian safety devices at 78 locations along the Chicago-St. Louis High-Speed Rail Corridor $2,700,000
Replacement of two at-grade pedestrian crossings with one pedestrian underpass at Lake Cook Metra Station in Deerfield $1,700,000
Redevelopment of Oak Forest Metra commuter station $1,304,400
Close six-track crossing at East Alton Avenue/Evans Avenue $750,000
Phase 2 Engineering of Veterans Memorial Trail in Will and Cook Counties $652,200
Research into the application of differential pricing on existing toll roads and integrate transit options into toll lanes. $528,840
Efforts to improve ability of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises to compete for federal highway contracts $407,400
On-the-job training for careers in highway construction $300,000
Resurface State Street from Burnham Avenue to State Line Road in Calumet City $260,880
Construction of a one-mile trail from Stone Arch Bridge turnout on IL 96 near the Nauvoo Flats Wildlife Sanctuary in Nauvoo $185,336
Construction of visitor plaza and rest area at Lewis and Clark Tower Site near Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway in Hartford $180,800
Reconstruction of North Main Street from Market Street to Clay Street in Troy $163,050
Preservation of Red Covered Bridge in Princeton $145,248
Ferry landing improvements, including resurfacing of the parking and access areas in Grafton $119,000
Installation of educational panels along Historic Route 66 $110,625
Revision of Illinois River Road Corridor Management Plan $78,520
Rehabilitation of Sugar Creek Covered Bridge $52,000
Rehabilitation of Thompson Mill Covered Bridge in Cowden $4,000
TOTAL $16,992,299

A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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