Will it play in Galesburg? That's a question I don't need to ask about this Administration's Recovery Act investments in transportation. The answer is clear: "Yes, it will."
Yesterday, I talked with the Galesburg, Illinois, Chamber of Commerce about what stimulus spending had done for the community. As it has been everywhere I've had conversations like this, the response was very positive.
Why so positive? Because we've awarded $88 million in Recovery Act funds to help BNSF build a third main line and new storage tracks for freight cars in Galesburg. In turn, this will help Amtrak, which shares these rails, to better serve its passengers.
Making freight move faster takes trucks off the road. Making passenger trains move faster takes cars off the road. These systems are closely linked.
The Galesburg Chamber understands that people and goods--drivers, passengers, and freight--share the same infrastructure in America when traveling by highway and rail. And they appreciate that investment in freight may speed things along for passengers, that an investment in rail may help make things smoother for highways.
That's why we're so confident about the value of the investments we've been making through the Recovery Act; we're creating a smarter set of transportation systems for America.
In the Knox County area, there is a lot more to talk about:
- 11 road and bridge projects in Knox, Peoria, Stark, and Warren Counties;
- $3.6 million to refurbish the Quad Cities airport;
- Millions more for airports in Peoria, Springfield, Decatur, Chicago;
- 77,000 dollars to make Amtrak’s Galesburg facilities more accessible for older Americans and people with disabilities; and
- Nearly 600,000 dollars for a new bus, bus shelters, and other equipment to help modernize transit facilities in Galesburg.
All this activity is keeping people on the payroll. The road projects alone are creating more than 500 local jobs for Knox County and the surrounding area.
The Recovery Act is responsible for saving or creating 1 million jobs so far, with millions more jobs in the pipeline.
I’m proud to be part of an Administration that has set this in motion. I'm proud to be able to talk about these outcomes with the Galesburg Chamber of Commerce.
I don't have to worry about whether it will play in Peoria or Galesburg or anywhere. The Recovery Act results I'm talking about play everywhere.