CP Railway had almost a decade to raise objections, but waited until more than $1.5 billion had been spent on critical infrastructure project[ Construction delays linked to Canadian Pacific’s refusals risk 65,000 Illinois jobs
SCHAUMBURG–(ENEWSPF)–September 26, 2016. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08), Ranking Member of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets, is calling out Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway’s refusal to negotiate in good faith regarding the Elgin-O’Hare Western Access (EOWA) project, potentially putting at risk an estimated 65,000 Illinois jobs and wasting more than $1.5 billion in funding already spent on the project. In a recent letter, Duckworth asked the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) to do what it can to ensure plans to complete the EOWA—which CP had been aware of for nearly a decade before unexpectedly raising objections in recent months—can move forward.
“CP led the [Illinois Tollway Authority, which is spearheading the EOWA project] to believe that they would sell portions of their land needed to complete key aspects of EOWA for $114 million, including the north-south corridor to link I-294 and I-90 and provide western access to the airport,” wrote Duckworth. “Only after construction had begun and more than $1.5 billion, including $140 million in federal funding, was invested in the project, CP unexpectedly reneged on the deal.”
The Daily Herald reported yesterday that the purchase of CP’s Bensenville railyard is “key to the tollway’s plan” to complete the EOWA project but, after years of amicable negotiations, CP is “now refusing to discuss the project.” Duckworth sent her letter in light of CP’s misleading actions and legal tactics that threaten the Tollway’s ability to complete the project. The letter urges the STB to consider intervening in the current dispute.
Duckworth continued: “CP’s actions have endangered a vital infrastructure project… Recognizing these important economic benefits to my district and the region, in combination with its importance to national transportation priorities, I wish to express my full support for Elgin O’Hare Western Access. I urge the Surface Transportation Board to consider intervening in this matter to ensure the project’s completion as per the originally understood plans between CP and the Tollway.”
The text of Congresswoman Duckworth’s letter is here