Lipinski Chosen for Exclusive House Committee Examining Transportation of Freight
Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) was named today to a special House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee panel tasked with examining the state of freight transportation in the United States and how improving the movement of freight can strengthen the economy and create jobs. Of the 11 members on the new “Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation,” Rep. Lipinski is the only one from the Midwest, tapped by Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall for his extensive expertise responding to the various challenges facing the multiple modes of transportation in northeastern Illinois, the crossroads of America.
“I am looking forward to beginning the important work of taking a comprehensive review of how we move freight, developing a strategy to improve on that system and ultimately positioning the United States to better compete in the global economy,” said Rep. Lipinski, the state’s senior member on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. “Since all freight moves on multiple modes – highways, ports, inland waterways, railroads, air, and pipelines – taking a big picture approach is the smart way to plan for our many transportation needs. I am hopeful that we will begin to establish the projects that are of national and regional significance, prioritizing those that are critical to economic development and job growth throughout the country and the region. Topping that list is CREATE, the ongoing rail modernization plan for northeastern Illinois that is critical for our region and for our nation.”
The Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation will serve for six months developing recommendations for the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to improve the efficiencies and connections of the country’s freight network. The first meeting will be April 24.
Representing a district that includes federal highways, state tollways, Chicago’s Midway Airport and Romeoville’s Lewis University Airport, the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal, four commuter rail lines, Amtrak, and six of the country's seven Class I freight railroads, Rep. Lipinski is personally familiar with the transportation needs and challenges facing the country. His district also includes a large section of Will County, home to two major intermodal freight yards.
The congressman is the leading supporter of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE), helping obtain the first $100 million for the program in 2005 and working to secure hundreds of millions of additional dollars since then. Considered a project of national significance, CREATE is key to unclogging the shipment of freight by reducing congestion and improving safety with track, switch, and signal upgrades and by constructing overpasses and underpasses to end conflicts at railroad crossings. It will also limit locomotive engine idling, improve air quality and enhance the quality of life for the region’s residents by reducing highway congestion and improving travel times.
Earlier this Congress, Rep. Lipinski introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure that America’s inland waterway system can meet the current and future demands of the 21st century economy through the passage of a comprehensive, long-term inland waterway system modernization plan based on collaborative recommendations of a team of inland navigation private sector stakeholders and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“I am especially pleased to be named to this new panel because of the opportunity to call attention to the significant role the 3rd Congressional District and northeastern Illinois plays in the shipment of freight,” Rep. Lipinski said. “The flow of goods across all modes of transportation in our area is critical to the health of our national economy and the creation and retention of good jobs.”
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