Monday, November 22, 2021

The red line extensions funding from recent federal infrastructure bill

I'm sorry I missed this story about how the recent infrastructure bill which was signed by President Joe Biden into law would affect us in Illinois. Especially how it would affect the south side of Chicago, particularly this Red Line extension through Roseland into Altgeld Gardens.

From the Sun-Times:

President Joe Biden signed the historic $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law Monday, passing to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot — at the White House for the ceremony — the massive job of spending the billions in new money flowing to the city and state in the next five years.

For the first time, there will be a dedicated funding stream in the form of grant programs to make all transit and commuter rail stations in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, a legislative victory for the champion of the measure, Iraq War vet and double amputee Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.

Based on interviews with Lightfoot and Pritzker, expansion of the CTA Red Line from 95th to 130th Street, speeding up lead water pipe removal and rebuilding portions of the Eisenhower Expressway through Chicago and nearby suburbs, the I-190 turnoff near O’Hare Airport and I-80 in Will County have emerged as among the priority projects to be bolstered by the federal spending.

The federal funding will speed up some projects already in the works — removing lead water pipes in Chicago — jumpstart transit and highway projects stalled for years — while helping to bankroll large scale electric vehicle charging networks throughout the state.

Public transit expansion, lead pipe removal, expanding broadband internet access and creating a new support system for electronic vehicles are at the top of Lightfoot’s list.

Lightfoot said there “definitely” will be federal money to expand the CTA Red Line from 95th Street to 130th, though she had no timetable yet for the project.

A spokeswoman for Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., said at the White House he handed a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg urging him to support the Red Line South Side expansion to near the edge of the city.

“This transit desert disproportionately impacts Black residents, meaning that the early termination of the Red Line has considerable equity implications. This results in many of Chicago’s African American citizens literally being disconnected from the ‘mainland’ of the rest of the city. It reminds one of the ‘colony’ and the ‘motherland’ divides of a past time,” the Rush letter said.

Glad to see it's a priority for the mayor, however, no timeline yet to begin construction only that  the federal infrastructure money would be used to expand the red line. By expand hopefully she means starting construction, however, I want to see what else is out there by the mayor and governor regarding this extension,

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