[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, has obligated $1 million in funding – 10% of the federal funding that was awarded – for the Peoria Warehouse District project. This move to begin obligating funds as soon as possible comes in response to Durbin’s request to obligate $10 million in funding for the Peoria Warehouse District project – and the nearly $400 million funding for other Illinois transportation projects – to keep Illinois projects safe from rescission under the House Republican’s 2011 Budget plan.
“This will at least protect part of the $10 million in federal funding that has been awarded to the City of Peoria to revitalize the Warehouse District, create jobs and boost economic development,” said Durbin. “The City has moved quickly to take advantage of this federal investment. The U.S. Department of Transportation is acting with similar urgency. I will continue working with Secretary LaHood and the Illinois Department of Transportation to protect this important investment for our state.”
Last week, Durbin sent a letter to LaHood, urging him to obligate as soon as possible nearly $400 million in Illinois transportation funding. Obligating – making a legal commitment to allow a project to move forward – this funding could potentially keep eight Illinois projects safe from rescission under the House Republican’s 2011 Budget plan. In his letter, Durbin wrote: “Stopping these projects now by arbitrarily rescinding their funding would kill hundreds of Illinois jobs and hold back millions in private investment from Illinois communities.”
The House Republican plan cuts $9.7 billion for transportation and water infrastructure nationwide. Because the plan rescinds all unobligated funding from the Recovery Act for high speed rail ($3.6 billion nationwide) and all unobligated FY2010 high speed rail funding ($2.5 billion nationwide), 25,000 new construction jobs nationwide will be lost with the cancellation of 76 projects in 40 states. The plan rescinds all unobligated TIGER funding provided for in the Recovery Act ($29 million nationwide) and TIGER II funding already awarded ($600 million nationwide) putting 30,580 jobs nationwide at risk.
Illinois projects in jeopardy under the House Republican plan include:
- The Chicago to Quad Cities Amtrak route ( $230 million and 588 jobs per year for the first four years of design and construction);
- The Englewood Flyover CREATE project ($133 million and 1,450 Chicagoland jobs);
- The Wadsworth Bridge Replacement to improve the Chicago to Milwaukee Amtrak service ($3.71 million);
- The CTA’s purchase of All-Electric Buses ($2.21 million);
- The Peoria Warehouse District Project ($10 million and combined with private investment 1,000 local jobs);
- The Moline Multimodal Facility ($10 million);
- The Barrington EJ&E Grade Separation at US 14 ($2.8 million); and
- A Hybrid Paratransit Bus for Grundy County ($144,000).