An influential alderman warned Metra’s executive director on Thursday that “people are going to get hurt” if the commuter rail agency fails to bolster minority participation on a $133 million South Side railroad bridge known as the “Englewood Flyover.”
Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, did not explain who he believed would “get hurt” or who the perpetrators might be. But, he was clearly referring to civil disobedience or maybe even violence at the construction site.
[Metra Executive Director] Clifford said he “respects and appreciates” Beale’s point. But, he also stood his ground, arguing that Metra has “not done anything wrong” and “followed federal statutes to the letter.”
[...] “By federal statute, we are not allowed to set a minority target. If a bidder comes in and achieves that goal — 25 percent DBE — they have met the federal mandate. The federal mandate is what I must follow and I will not violate the law,” Clifford said.
Metra held something like a year's worth of seminars explaining exactly what would be required by bidders for the Englewood flyover bridge in Englewood itself, and got zero takers on the contract. What the hell are they supposed to do?
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