Continuing his opposition to the Canadian Northern’s purchase of the EJ&E Railroad, 16th district Congressman Don Manzullo was in Chicago for a press conference yesterday.
Here is his press release:
Manzullo: CN Rail Purchase Would Endanger Northern Illinois Residents, Aggravate Traffic, Fleece Taxpayers
[CHICAGO] Congressman Don Manzullo (R-Egan) today said the Canadian National Railway’s plan to run 15 to 20 extra freight trains through the Chicago suburbs each day would threaten the safety of nearby residents, cause massive traffic backups, and force taxpayers to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to mitigate the problems.
Manzullo, a strong opponent of CN’s plan to purchase the EJ&E line and run the extra trains through downtown Barrington and other suburban villages, joined several of his colleagues this morning on a Congressional panel in Chicago discussing the impacts of the proposed deal. Manzullo represents tens of thousands of McHenry County motorists who drive through Barrington to get to work each day and would face additional delays and safety hazards due to the extra trains. The EJ&E line has at-grade crossings with Route 14, Route 59 and Lake-Cook Road in downtown Barrington.
Manzullo was especially incensed by a preliminary Environmental Impact Statement released recently by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) that acknowledges all the problems caused by the deal but then suggests the CN Railway could get away with funding just 5 to 10 percent of the mitigation costs to solve the problems their deal creates.
“If this deal is approved, suburban residents will face major traffic backups and safety hazards. And to add insult to injury, they will have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to mitigate the problems,” Manzullo said. “This is beyond outrageous. Why should taxpayers have to spend their money to correct problems from a transaction that will benefit a private company?”
Manzullo joined more than 1,400 residents at the initial public meeting in Barrington on the proposed deal this past winter. He is encouraging another huge public turnout at the next STB public hearing scheduled on Wednesday, August 27, at Barrington High School, 616 W. Main Street, Barrington. STB staff will conduct an informal open house from 4 to 6 p.m. and a formal public hearing will follow from 6 to 9 p.m.
Channel Two’s Mike Flannery covered the story, too.