State plans more construction, easing train congestion
The state will borrow $1.6 billion to continue with an ongoing public works program that includes expanding Route 59 in Naperville and easing freight train congestion in the region.
This latest phase of the six-year, $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now initiative is expected to create or sustain more than 18,000 jobs.
A chunk of change — $94 million — will go to the city of Chicago to repair some its main roadways. Another $211 million is earmarked for the CREATE program, which rebuilds locations where there's railway gridlock. For example, $36 million will cover construction of a train overpass in Melrose Park and Bellwood.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law Tuesday that empowers the state to issue bonds for the work.
Some suburban projects are included in the plan.
• $1 million for resurfacing on the Kennedy Expressway/I-190 between Rosemont and O'Hare International Airport;
• $2 million for engineering of an overpass and intersection improvements at the junction of Kautz and Roosevelt Roads and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Kane County;
• $81.5 million for adding lanes on Route 59 between Ferry Road and Aurora Avenue in Naperville;
• $27 million for improvements, resurfacing and reconstruction at Willow Road in Northfield;
• $8 million to Metra to help implement Positive Train Control, a crash-prevention system that uses technology to detect dangerous situations.
Illinois Jobs Now passed in 2009 but created controversy because some of the revenues will come from video gambling.
Quinn also signed into law bills extending the Regional Transportation Authority's borrowing power and authorizing Pace to borrow money to pay for bus garage expansion.
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