Posted by Citizens Taking Action for transit and trains www.CTAriders.org
State transportation officials vow to get moving on the application but don't fear losing any funds
| Tribune reporter
March 4, 2009
Illinois still has not
officially submitted a list of shovel-ready road and mass transit projects to
the federal government for funding under the economic stimulus package, U.S.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday, warning that time is running
"The law requires us to get the money out the door very quickly," LaHood said. But "we have not received a list from the state or from
State transportation officials vowed to get moving with the application process, but they expressed no concerns about possibly losing federal aid.
Mayor Richard Daley has been tight-lipped about disclosing
The deadlines vary depending on the different
modes of transportation. But the stimulus legislation aimed at putting
Americans to work requires
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with U.S. Department of Transportation employees Tuesday to emphasize the importance of helping states and local governments start their projects "once the snow melts," LaHood, a Republican and former congressman from Peoria, said in a telephone interview.
But none of the $935 million promised to
The transit projects must first be approved by the transportation committee of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, which plans to vote on the projects Friday, said Diane Palmer, spokeswoman for the Regional Transportation Authority. Then, the CTA, Metra and Pace must file applications to the Federal Transit Administration, she said.
"When Gov. Quinn was sworn in, I told him the importance of getting deadlines met," LaHood said.
Quinn on Friday named Gary Hannig, a state representative from Litchfield, to replace Milton Sees, who was IDOT secretary under ex- Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
IDOT will submit its list "after our public comment period closes at the end of business today," department spokeswoman Marisa Kollias said Tuesday.
State transportation authorities have met with officials from the Federal Highway Administration and "they do not believe we are at risk yet to lose anything," Kollias said.
In early February, Daley said he has a wish list of projects he wants funded. Unlike other leaders, however, Daley said he wouldn't tell the public because of concerns "the newspapers, the media is going to be ripping it apart," he said.
The following week, Daley flew to
Daley spokeswoman Jacquelyn Heard said the city received assurances Tuesday from IDOT officials that there is no problem.
Tribune reporters Todd Lighty, Hal Dardick and Monique Garcia contributed to this report.
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