My Position on Transit & Infrastructure
“For far too long, our nation has put modernizing our infrastructure and transportation systems on the back burner, resulting in incomplete infrastructure projects, broken roads, eliminated bus routes, and transportation deserts in far too many communities across the country. By investing in the green infrastructure of the future, we can not only create good-paying union jobs but also ensure our transportation becomes more accessible, affordable and equitable for all Americans.” – Congresswoman Marie Newman
Illinois’ 3rd District is home to Midway International Airport, thousands of acres of intermodal rail yard and warehousing and critical ground transportation and rail arteries that carry millions of pounds of freight and hundreds of thousands of commuters each day. As a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Congresswoman Newman has put strengthening local transportation at top of her legislative priority in the 117th Congress.
To ensure issues pertaining to all modes of transportation in all neighborhoods are being addressed, Congresswoman Newman has committed to regularly convening meetings between transportation executives in Chicagoland and members of federal, state, county and local government – a first in the history of Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. In July 2021, Congresswoman Newman made history by welcoming U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District to tour local transit systems and projects that would benefit from President Biden’s American Jobs Plan.
Delivering for the District
Congresswoman Newman has advanced funding for numerous transportation projects across the district to reduce commute times and modernize the infrastructure of Chicago’s Southwest Side and Southwest suburbs. Projects her office has advanced funding for include:
- Rail Underpass on Archer Avenue: Our office worked with community partners to secure $19 million to build a rail underpass on Archer Avenue. This will reduce road-rail conflicts, first responder delays and traffic congestion on Chicago’s Southwest Side.
- Hickory Hills Water Infrastructure: This $640,000 in federal funding for the City of Hickory Hills would be used to update 20,000 linear feet of sanitary sewers in a low-income portion of the city, reducing basement backups and sanitary sewer overflows.
- Lewis University Airport Safety Enhancements: A total of $680,000 in federal funding would go towards the Joliet Regional Port District to build necessary airport safety fencing at the Lewis University Airport.
Action in Congress:
- Congresswoman Newman introduced the All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) Act to ensure all transit and commuter rail systems are fully accessible and ADA compliant to support riders with disabilities. The ASAP Act was included in the INVEST in America Act that passed the House on July 1, 2021.
- In June 2021, Congresswoman Newman’s Rail Center for Excellence amendment was included in the INVEST in America Act. Under the amendment, the U.S. Department of Transportation would establish a Rail Research and Development Center of Excellence that would conduct critical research and development to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of passenger and freight rail transportation.
- In June 2021, Congresswoman Newman announced that her office has secured inclusion of six transportation projects, totaling more than $17.8 million in federal funding support, in the INVEST in America Act, this year’s House surface transportation reauthorization bill. These six projects include:
- Midway Bus Terminal Electrification Concept – This project would fund a concept design and engineering efforts for the future electrification of the Midway Bus Terminal located at Chicago’s Midway International Airport.
- I-294 103rd Street Interchange – This funding is designated for the construction of a new I-294 interchange at 103rd Street, which would provide more direct access to job opportunities along I-294 for residents and significantly relieve traffic for the adjacent, highly congested 95th Street interchange.
- Pedestrian Safety Improvements in Lockport – This $1.4 million project is designed to address multiple pedestrian safety concerns at the intersection of IL 171 (State Street) and 10th Street in Lockport, IL.
- Highway Expansion for 143rd Street – This project would expand 143rd Street from two and three lanes to five lanes with improved traffic signals, a multi-use path and sidewalk as well as new drainage systems.
- Weber Road Reconstruction – This project would improve local traffic congestion by reconstructing two miles of roadway with a six-lane divided highway of Weber Road.
- Oak Park Avenue Improvements – This project would dedicate a total of $520,000 to improve ADA sidewalk compliance in an effort to address safety concerns. The project would also reduce congestion by providing a local alternative to traveling on nearby congested arterial roadways.