Illinois to begin $98 million high-speed rail project
In January, the Obama Administration awarded Illinois more than $1.2 billion in ARRA funds for high-speed passenger rail projects, making it one of only three states to receive an award of more than $1 billion.
“I am very pleased to see firsthand the immediate, tangible economic impacts and future transportation benefits of this Recovery Act funding,” said Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “Improvements along the Chicago to St. Louis rail corridor will not only make 110mph passenger service possible, but it will also emblemize the type of strategic investments the Obama Administration is making in America’s transportation future.”
In addition, $1.25 million in federal funding will be used to undertake an environmental impact study for a second track along the same route to increase daily frequencies. The state also was awarded $133 million to build the Englewood Flyover on Chicago’s South Side, a Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) project to clear rail bottlenecks and eliminate significant delays for commuter, inter-city and freight trains, including 110-mph trains on the Chicago-St. Louis route.
The upgrade to 110-mph service will improve the state’s transportation system while creating jobs and boosting economic development. The state also is seeking additional federal funding for a feasibility study to determine the potential for 220-mph service in Illinois, according to IDOT. The state has applied for $8 million in federal funding for this study.
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