Funding plan ignores city, aids Metra


By Lynn Sweet

Date of Publication: October 4, 1999
Source: Chicago Sun-Times


WASHINGTON--Congress is poised to send to the White House a transportation funding package that shortchanges the CTA and city road projects while providing generous financing for suburban Metra stations.

The House on Friday approved on a 304-91 roll call a conference transportation report filed late Thursday night, leaving House members little time to consider provisions in a deal put together by House and Senate negotiators. The Senate is expected to approve the package today.

"This conference report virtually ignores the capital infrastructure needs of Chicago and Illinois," said Rep. William O. Lipinski (D-Ill.), a member of the transportation committee.

The poor showing for Chicago projects may mean a rethinking of the agenda forged by Gov. Ryan and Mayor Daley, with both political leaders backing urban and suburban transit programs. Also, having J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) in his position as speaker of the House did the city little good in securing federal transportation funding.

Among the amounts slated for key Chicago area projects:

Nothing for the rehabilitation of Wacker Drive.