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Governor Pritzker joins Secretary Pete Buttigieg for ribbon cutting at Joliet Gateway Center's new Pace bus facility

Press Release - Wednesday, May 04, 2022

JOLIET - Governor Pritzker, United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Congressman Bill Foster, and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) were joined by local and regional transportation officials today to formally open the final phase of the Joliet Gateway Center, a new Pace bus station connected to Metra and Amtrak passenger rail service. The station project was made possible, in part, through a $7.5 million investment from Governor Pritzker's historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois plan, the largest capital program in state history and the first one that touches all modes of transportation.

"The state of Illinois is proud to dedicate nearly $40 million to the Joliet Multi-Modal Transportation Center, support made possible in part by Rebuild Illinois," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Investments like these do more than just connect cities - they allow our residents to access opportunities beyond their immediate neighborhoods, streamline regional collaborations, and open doors for new jobs and new businesses. I'm proud to partner with local and federal officials to mark yet another milestone for this region."

"Thanks to good planning and good leadership, people can now wait comfortably inside this facility, and can get to jobs in downtown Joliet or downtown Chicago because bus lines, Metra, and Amtrak, are all here," said United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

The new facility includes a turnaround for buses as well as parking improvements and vehicle and pedestrian access. The station has 13 loading areas for buses, with passenger islands that include canopies and shelters. Sidewalks accessible for riders with disabilities and public restrooms are included. The $9.7 million project includes a state commitment of $9.2 million, plus a $500,000 contribution from Joliet.

"Modernizing and enhancing our nation's transportation infrastructure is one of the most important things we can do to support the economic growth of communities like ours," said Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL). "Secretary Buttigieg knows that, and he knows just how important reliable, safe, and efficient transportation systems are specifically to the Midwest - where so many goods pass through as they make their way across the country and around the world. Thanks to critical infrastructure investments I proudly voted for, we can finally make the generational investment in our transportation infrastructure we desperately need."

Opened in 2018, the Joliet Gateway Center was the first rail station project in Joliet in nearly a century and tied together multiple modes of transportation in one safe, convenient location.  Done in partnership between IDOT and the City of Joliet, the project involved federal, state and local funding, as well as contributions from passenger and freight railroads.

The centerpiece is a two-story, 10,000-square foot station house that serves more than 1,000 commuters daily on two Metra lines connecting to Chicago, as well as 60,0000 riders annually via Amtrak's Texas Eagle and Lincoln Service trains. The airy interior includes new ticketing and baggage areas, rest rooms, space for retailers, and Wi-Fi capabilities

The state's total commitment for the Joliet Gateway Center is $39.5 million.

"This latest improvement to the Joliet Gateway Center shows how investing in infrastructure can revitalize communities and make them safer in innovative, exciting ways," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. "Rebuild Illinois has been a catalyst to connect our state through affordable, accessible and multiple modes of transportation."

Governor Pritzker's Rebuild Illinois identifies a total of $4.5 billion - $3 billion in bonding and $1.5 billion in new pay-as-you-go funding - to invest in transit throughout the state.

Passed in 2019, Rebuild Illinois is investing a total of $33.2 billion over six years into the state's aging transportation system, creating jobs and promoting economic growth. Rebuild Illinois is not only the largest capital program in state history, but also the first that touches all modes of transportation: roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.

Rebuild Illinois has made several transformational projects possible in Joliet and Will County, including the $1.2 billion overhaul of 16 miles of Interstate 80 and the bridges over the Des Plaines River. Other investments include more than $200 million to improve Interstate 55, $26 million to modernize and upgrade the moveable bridges in downtown Joliet and $6 million for an air traffic control tower at Lewis University Airport.

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