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updated: 5/15/2017 11:11 AM

The need to invest in infrastructure

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Much of the conversation today in Springfield and around Illinois centers on how we can get our economy moving. How do we create jobs and promote opportunities that will grow our local businesses and give families and our younger generations hope that tomorrow is more promising than today?

One critical component needed to jump-start our economy isn't flashy or often front of mind, but it steadily powers us ahead from South Deering and Calumet in the 33rd House District to the Northwest suburbs of the 57th District and throughout the Chicagoland area. Freight rail carries our goods around the country and world, and it will help accelerate the recovery we all want to see.

More rail cars move through Illinois than any other state. Major businesses like Cargill and Horsehead rely on rail to reach customers abroad, and key rails like the Union Pacific Northwest Line make the connections vital for our businesses and industries to succeed.

As the rest of our nation's infrastructure crumbles, we're at a crossroads in how we will ensure the sustainability and safety of the pathways that make the economy go.

We applaud the Illinois companies who invest $60 million a day to maintain and improve the state's rail network and employ 13,000 Illinois residents. Their investment reaffirms a message we all should take to heart: to create a stronger economy, you get what you pay for.

Illinois needs to move ahead, and investing in our infrastructure is an important catalyst. Freight rail is a compelling success story and an excellent example we will be talking about at the state Capitol and in Washington. For the returns we want tomorrow, it's time to focus on the investment we must start making today.

Rep. Elaine Nekritz

Northbrook

Rep. Marcus Evans

Chicago

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