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President Preckwinkle Announces Road Project Designed To Promote Economic Development In The South Suburbs

By at September 12, 2012 | 3:37 pm | Print

President Preckwinkle Announces Road Project  Designed To Promote Economic Development In The South Suburbs

President Toni Preckwinkle today announced a strategic road project that will promote economic growth in the South Suburbs.

The county will use $8-$10 million dollars in Motor Fuel Tax funds to reconstruct and widen Center Street from 159th Street to 171st Street—a crucial truck route in Harvey.

In addition to reconstructing the deteriorated pavement, the Highway Department will install left turn lanes that will relieve traffic congestion and enable easy access to many of the industrial operations along Center Street, which include Canadian National Railroad’s Gateway Intermodal Terminal, UPS, Fore Transportation, and other national and local businesses.

“Cook County is committed to development in the South Suburbs and recognizes that building and improving infrastructure is the first step toward attracting business,” President Preckwinkle said.

“The improvement and expansion of this essential truck route will greatly enhance the transportation network around Harvey’s Industrial Park. But the positive effects don’t stop there. A quality truck route will promote further development around Center Street and could potentially generate up to 3,000 manufacturing and logistics jobs in the South Suburbs.”

The County has been working closely with municipalities, regional agencies and elected officials to be a proactive force for economic development.

“This project, I believe, will be one of our great success stories,” Preckwinkle told more than a dozen mayors, state representatives and manufacturers who were gathered at a press conference Wednesday at the UPS facility in Harvey, located along Center Street.

President Preckwinkle said the County Highway Department has numerous other road infrastructure projects that are promoting economic growth across the South Suburbs.

Joe Orr Road from east of Stony Island Avenue to Torrence Avenue is being constructed on a new alignment. There are future plans to build new sections east to Indiana, with the goal of making Joe Orr Road a major east-west corridor for the southeast region of the County.

President Preckwinkle also thanked Jim Apa, president and CEO of Fore Transportation, for initiating the push to improve Center Street.

“A few years back, Mr. Apa approached the county and Commissioner Deborah Sims with the idea to revitalize the street,” President Preckwinkle said. “The project had difficulty taking off. During my administration, we applied for federal grants to fund the Center Street project, but we were turned down. Nevertheless, the county was determined to find a way to bring this project to fruition. And today I’m here to tell you: We’re finally going to make it happen. And it’s going to serve as an engine for economic growth in the South Suburbs.”

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