Metra approves controversial Englewood Flyover project

July 16, 2012

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Some black congressmen from Chicago are praising Metra for taking another look at hiring minority contractors. That’s after months of criticizing the rail service for not giving black workers the chance for new construction jobs. U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) has been on Metra’s case for approving a major construction project on its South Side tracks, but without ensuring jobs for minority contractors.

"And that was shameful and disgraceful on its face," he said Monday at a news conference.

Now, Rush is complimenting Metra for agreeing to give minority contractors a chance and establishing a mentorship program.

David Rock is president of IHC Construction, the winning bidder on the $93 million project. He said the agreement is a chance to get face time with subcontractors he hasn’t worked with.

"The work itself hasn’t changed," he said at the same news conference that Rush attended. "But hopefully the opportunity through the community outreach that the congressman referred to is another chance."

Metra’s board approved the Englewood Flyover Monday. It’s meant to help reduce train delays and repair bridges.