Vice President Biden Visits America’s Central Port

Vice President Joe Biden was joined yesterday by Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood at America’s Central Port in Granite City to mark the fifth anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The port’s new South Harbor is being funded in part by the ARRA and the state of Illinois, and is among $12 billion in Illinois projects benefiting from the federal economic stimulus program.

The ARRA and Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! construction program have greatly improved the state’s infrastructure while supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs over the past five years.

“Smart investments in projects like this one at America’s Central Port have put people back to work while building a 21st century infrastructure that will drive our economy forward,” Governor Quinn said. “By investing in our infrastructure, we can ensure that our state and nation stay at the forefront of the global economy for generations to come.”

America’s Central Port’s new South Harbor is being funded in part by a $14.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) I Grant through the ARRA, with $4 million in matching funds from the state of Illinois. America’s Central Port, a 1,200-acre multi-use facility along the Mississippi River, is owned and operated by the Tri-City Regional Port District and is the hub of the nation’s intermodal freight transportation system. Its ideal location with direct access to rail, river and road transportation have made the port a huge economic engine for the Metro East area.

Approximately $9.4 billion of the $12 billion ARRA funding allocated to Illinois has been spent from 2009-2013, including approximately $437 million in Madison and St. Clair Counties. Examples include the $24.5 million interchange improvement at I-55/70 and Illinois Route 162, $13.8 million for a Multimodal Transportation Center in Alton, a $10.3 million bridge reconstruction north of Illinois Route 157, a $4.9 million grade separation project at Illinois Route 255 and Humbert Road and $4.6 million for an aircraft and firefighting building in East St. Louis. ARRA funds have also been used for improvements to Illinois Routes 3, 100 and 255 (the Alton Bypass).

Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program passed into law in 2009, the same year as ARRA, and is supporting more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest infrastructure program in Illinois history, and one of the largest in the nation.

Press Release, February 20, 2014

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