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May 4, 2001

Ryan Announces $22 Million Loan to Continue Work on Chicago Deep Tunnel Project

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that a low interest loan for $22,834,507 has been approved for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, for construction of the Torrence Avenue segment of the city's Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) system, also known as the "Deep Tunnel Project" to provide flood relief and pollution control.

"The aim of the Tunnel Project is to protect the public health and safety of our citizens," said Governor Ryan. "This project will help improve the quality of life for Chicago area residents."

The loan will provide funding for the construction of approximately 6.5 miles of 25-foot diameter lined tunnel and 1.5 miles of 15-foot diameter lined tunnel, as well other necessary work. The nearly $145 million Torrence Avenue segment of the tunnel project is designed to prevent basement backups and discharges of untreated waste by capturing combined storm water and waste and then transporting it to the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant for treatment.

More than $2.5 billion so far has been spent on the first four segments of TARP.

The Torrence Avenue leg of the project has received a $16.2 million federal grant and has previously received a total of $94.9 million in loans. The latest $22 million loan will be matched by $10,930,080 in local funding.

The loan is being made from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's wastewater revolving loan program that utilizes a combination of federal and state funding to provide loans for wastewater treatment projects at half the current bond market interest rate. Interest paid on the 20 - year loans is returned to the fund to support other low interest loans. Since the first loan was made in 1989, loans for more than $1 billion have been made.


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