Federal dollars for Illinois and Wisconsin rail projects
It's intended to unclog bottlenecks that cause freight trains to take a day or longer to pass through Chicago and block passenger trains and vehicles.
The program includes overpasses or underpasses and track and signal improvements, including a bridge to separate rail and road traffic to be built at an existing rail crossing on 71st Street in Bridgeview.
The projects will cut rail transit delays by 57,631 passenger hours per year and reduce motorist delays by 344,499 hours annually for a combined savings of nearly $10 million per year, according to CREATE, a public-private partnership of railroads and Chicago and state transportation agencies.
Train delays cost shippers $265 million a year, CREATE estimates."
Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel reports that "The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee agreed Tuesday to accept $822 million in federal stimulus funds for high-speed rail linking Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago, but not before lawmakers wrangled over whether the project was necessary.
The funds had been sought by Gov. Jim Doyle to link the three cities - and potentially the Twin Cities. The vote represents the final action for Wisconsin to tap the stimulus funding for rail.
The vote broke down two ways - lawmakers voted 12-4 for $810 million to build the rail system and 16-0 for improvements on the existing rail line between Milwaukee and Chicago."