JOLIET – October 28, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced $32 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program to construct a multi-modal transportation station in downtown Joliet. The new transportation center is expected to create 650 jobs, laying the groundwork for future transit-oriented development in downtown Joliet.
“This project will revitalize downtown Joliet and improve safety for the 800,000 passengers who use the city’s Union Station every year,” said Governor Quinn. “Investment in passenger rail supports our state’s continued economic recovery by creating jobs and stimulating development throughout the region.”
The new station will separate passenger and freight rail traffic, eliminating the ongoing problem of passengers crossing working freight tracks. All passenger platform and waiting areas will be moved east of the existing three-way intersection of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Union Pacific and Rock Island District Line tracks. The project also includes pedestrian tunnels that connect to Pace bus service, inter-city bus service and other forms of ground transportation, and a new 500-space parking lot.
“This new transportation center will improve Metra and Amtrak service reliability, provide better connections between residents and jobs, and ease freight congestion in one of northeastern Illinois’ most crowded areas,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig, who joined Governor Quinn for today’s announcement.
The $42 million project also includes $7.5 million in funding from the City of Joliet and $2.2 million from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. The Regional Transit Authority, Pace, Metra, Amtrak, Will County and Union Pacific all served as key partners in the development of this project.
Today’s announcement is a part of the overall plan to develop high speed rail service between Chicago and St. Louis. Last month, Governor Quinn announced that Illinois was the first state to begin high-speed rail construction. Earlier this week Governor Quinn announced $230 million in federal funds to build passenger rail service between Iowa City, Moline and Chicago.
In addition to the new intermodal center, Governor Quinn recently announced the reconstruction of Interstate 55 at Arsenal Road, which will support nearly 900 jobs and help attract businesses to the Joliet area. Earlier this year, Governor Quinn signed the Intermodal Facilities Promotion Act to encourage business development along the freight rail systems of Illinois. CenterPoint Properties projects 7,000 permanent new jobs being brought to Illinois through an intermodal facility in Joliet.