Monday, July 16, 2012

Tribune: Metra approves controversial Englewood flyover contract

The controversy was over jobs for local residents in this $141 million project:
Metra's board of directors today approved a $93 million contract for construction of a railroad bridge on the south side that three congressmen had threatened to block because they said it would not provide enough jobs to African Americans in the economically depressed neighborhood.

The approval came after Metra chairman Larry Huggins said a deal had been worked out between the congressmen, led by Bobby Rush, to guarantee jobs for residents of the Englewood community.

Rush in May had threatened to stop the project unless there were more jobs for the community.

Details of the agreement were not immediately disclosed.
The contract was awarded to the low bidder, IHC Construction and Illinois Constructors Joint Venture.

Huggins said he was told the contractor has agreed to increase minority and disadvantaged business (DBE) participation in the contract from 25 percent to about 40 percent.

Twenty-five percent DBE participation is the amount required by law

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