CHICAGO — The Illinois Finance Authority gave preliminary approval this week to the Seneca I-80 Railport Development LLC’s proposed $576 million issue. The move advances development efforts for the proposed freight-transfer facility that is seeking an allocation of tax-exempt, private activity bonding under the federal government’s $15 billion pilot program.

The U.S. Department of Transportation manages the program, which was established in 2005. After a slow start, the DOT has now allocated $7.87 billion for eight projects nationally, including two other freight transfer facilities in Illinois, based on a department report in December.

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