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|Agreement Signed To Begin High-Speed Rail Project
|Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and governors from seven other states have signed an agreement for the implementation of high-speed rail.
The agreement would develop the Midwest corridor using federal dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as state dollars.
"We are stronger working as a region than we are individually," Quinn said in Chicago Monday. "We are determined to take full advantage of federal recovery funds and bring high speed rail to Illinois and the Midwest."
Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois are all on board. Chicago will serve as the hub for the initial $3.4 billion rail system which consists of three main lines - Chicago to Milwaukee-Madison, Chicago to St. Louis and Chicago to Detroit - Pontiac.
To complete the corridor there will be other projects or upgrades to existing track:
Connecting to the East by way of Indiana with the Ohio network and service to Toledo and the 3C Corridor: Cleveland - Columbus - Dayton - Cincinnati.
Connecting to the Southeast to Indianapolis and Cincinnati.
Connecting to the Northeast to Grand Rapids/Holland and Port Huron.
Connecting to the North to Green Bay.
Connecting to the Northwest to the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minn.)
Connecting to the Southwest and West through St. Louis to Kansas City.
Connecting to the South to Carbondale.
Connecting to the West to the Quad Cities, Iowa City, Des Moines, Omaha, and Quincy.
The entire project would create 57,000 permanent jobs and 15,000 construction jobs. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says there "is no magic date" of when the project will be complete but he believes work could start within a year, should enough federal dollars be made available. Other states and regions are competing for a piece of the $8 billion in federal dollars that has been committed to transportation.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|07 27 09 by Newsroom
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