Durbin: $5.7 Million in Federal Funds Allows East Side Transfer Center Construction to Begin in 2010

[ROCKFORD, IL] – Federal funding for the East Side Transfer Center will bring needed construction jobs to Rockford, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today at a news conference with local officials to announce the funding.
“The $5.7 million in federal funding for this facility will provide good paying construction jobs this spring for local residents that have been hard hit by the economic downturn,” Durbin said.  “This funding helped jumpstart this project and moved it off the shelf to be ready for construction.”
The money is going right into the local economy and is targeted directly to the construction industry—the hardest hit economic sector.  Unemployment in the construction industry reached 27 percent nationwide last month, meaning 1 out of every 4 workers in the construction industry is out of work.
Significant numbers of business and commercial centers now operate on the Rockford’s east side.  The Rockford Mass Transit District (RMTD) is crucial to keeping those businesses in the community and attracting future economic development.  Last year, the RMTD served 1.6 million passengers—one of the highest ridership levels in 15 years.  The new facility will bring even more commuters to the east side, providing a direct impact on the local economy.  The East Side Transfer Center will allow the RMTD to handle the bus traffic for years to come and lay the foundation for future development in Rockford.  RMTD users will travel to and from work with better bus routes and greater convenience.
In August, Rockford was awarded $3.7 million in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the East Side Transfer Center.  Durbin secured an additional $2 million in the fiscal year 2010 omnibus last year for the project.