Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Thanks U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for Visit on Freight

Secretary Buttigieg toured CSX and Belt Railway of Chicago, two of the largest and busiest freight rail facilities throughout the U.S.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways Superintendent Jennifer “Sis” Killen joined U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg along with other elected officials today for a tour of two of the largest and busiest intermodal facilities in the U.S.

The group visited CSX’s Bedford Park Intermodal Facility and Belt Railway of Chicago, both are part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program. The program is a first-of-its-kind partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation, State of Illinois, Cook County, City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak and the nation's largest freight railroads.

“I am grateful to Secretary Buttigieg for visiting North America’s freight capital today,” said President Preckwinkle. “The rail industry drives economic development in our region and plays an essential role transporting people and commodities throughout the nation. My administration will continue to make equitable investments through the CREATE Program to ensure the largest rail infrastructure in the country is able to operate safely and efficiently.”

The CREATE Program is a 70-project, $4.6 billion plan that improves the efficiency and effectiveness of freight, commuter and intercity passenger rail to reduce highway delay in the Chicago region.

“Cook County has been an integral partner of the CREATE Program since 2018,” said Killen. “The partnership between the region’s transportation agencies has driven significant change for the rail industry with 31 projects completed and 20 in the planning, design or construction phase. Today was a proud moment for our region to host Secretary Buttigieg and showcase our rail infrastructure investments as well as our plans to make freight and passenger rail operations more efficient in our region.”

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