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Governor announces $241 million investment in freight mobility projects

EAST ST. LOUIS – An Illinois Route 3 diversion loop and other Metro East projects are included in a $241 million investment in projects that will improve the mobility of freight throughout the state and provide long-term benefits in congestion relief and economic opportunity.

rauner bruceThe projects were announced this morning in a press conference in East St. Louis by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The 23 projects receiving grants from the Illinois Department of Transportation will also increase safety, leverage private investment where possible and improve intermodal connections and commerce at the local level.

“Illinois is at the heart of freight activity for the entire country,” Rauner said. “These are smart investments that help improve economic competitiveness. At the same time, communities will be less congested, and the movement of goods and services will be safer and more efficient.”

The governor made the announcement at the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis intermodal facility in East St. Louis, which is receiving $1.93 million. The award is leveraging $500,000 in private investment to re-establish a previously existing track alignment that will eliminate conflicts with four nearby highway crossings.

Other projects selected include: $34.3 million to reconstruct and add capacity to the U.S. 30-Interstate 80 interchange near Joliet, $25 million to separate vehicle and rail traffic at Brush College Road/Faries Parkway next to Decatur’s Midwest Inland Port, and $11.3 million to deploy a statewide intelligent truck parking availability information system.

Click here for a complete list of projects and awards.

Administered by IDOT using federal funds, the grants were awarded on a competitive basis, with local, state and federal agencies, as well as private entities, eligible to apply. Projects receiving awards meet the goals of IDOT’s Illinois State Freight Plan, which encourages intermodal accessibility to regional freight corridors and the strategic use of technology.

“Illinois is proud to be the transportation hub of North America,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said. “These projects not only help in an innovative way for the efficient movement of goods and services needed to retain that status, but also are an important investment in our communities.”

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