Announcement comes after Duckworth, Durbin & Bustos pressured FRA to extend funding
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) yesterday received confirmation from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that the agency had granted the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) a six month extension for federal funding for the Quad Cities to Chicago rail project to give local stakeholders needed flexibility to finalize an agreement. The funding is now extended to November 30, 2019.
“I’m pleased that the FRA agrees with us about the importance of this critical Illinois transportation initiative,” Duckworth said. “The Chicago-Quad Cities passenger rail project is an important component of Illinois’ dynamic transportation system. I look forward to continuing to work with Federal, state and local stakeholders to make sure this project is completed as quickly as possible.”
“In 2010, I was proud to secure federal funding for the Quad Cities to Chicago Amtrak route, which will benefit commuters, schools, and businesses in Illinois,” Durbin said. “Since then, the region has waited patiently for this to become a reality while Governor Rauner refused to commit to the project. I’m glad Governor Pritzker backs this important project and committed state funds to getting it done, and that FRA granted this federal funding extension.”
“The completion of a rail line from Moline to Chicago would help grow the local economy, create jobs and connect folks from across our state with new opportunities,” Bustos said. “We must work to get this project across the finish line as soon as possible and this news from FRA is another step forward in making sure it becomes reality. I will continue fighting to make sure these funds are protected for this important project.”
Duckworth received a commitment from FRA Administrator Ronald Batory Wednesday to provide IDOT with flexibility to finalize agreements to advance the Chicago-Quad Cities passenger rail project at a Commerce, Science and Transportation committee hearing. Also on Wednesday, Duckworth, Durbin and Bustos wrote to DOT urging for an extension.
After funding delays from former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker renewed the state’s financial commitment to the proposed state-supported Amtrak route between Chicago and Moline by providing $225 million in state funding for the project in the state’s recently passed capital bill. The grant amendment extends the deadline for Illinois to use $177 million in Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) funding that was secured in Fiscal Year 2010.