WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued an extension for $177 million in Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) funding for the Amtrak route between Chicago and Moline until December 31, 2024. In June, the members sent a letter to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao that urged DOT to extend the deadline for Illinois to use the $177 million in FRA funding that was secured in Fiscal Year 2010. After being encouraged by negotiations regarding the scope of the project, the members sent another letter in October and again urged for an extension of this crucial funding.
“Today’s announcement gives local communities in the Quad Cities the certainty needed to plan ahead for the new passenger rail service. After years of unnecessary delay, Senator Duckworth, Representative Bustos, and I have pushed hard to make Amtrak in the Quad Cities a reality. The future of this critical Illinois transportation project looks bright,” Durbin said.
“The Chicago-Quad Cities passenger rail project is a critical component of Illinois’ dynamic transportation system and today’s extension is an important step toward making it a reality,” Duckworth said. “I look forward to continuing my work with Senator Durbin, Representative Bustos, and local stakeholders to make sure this project is completed as quickly as possible.”
“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. “Today’s news is the culmination of years of effort and will allow for our region to take the next steps forward to prepare for this crucial project. I’ll continue to partner with Senators Durbin and Duckworth to see this project through to its completion and invest in our infrastructure.”
“Thanks to the governor’s vision, the support of the General Assembly and the work of the state’s congressional delegation, the historic Rebuild Illinois capital program is making an historic investment in transportation across all modes in Illinois,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Under the leadership of Gov. Pritzker, we stand ready to deliver this critical project and many others like it that will create economic opportunity and enhance quality of life throughout our state.”
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.
Durbin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, helped secure language in yesterday’s Senate-passed Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development 2020 Appropriations Bill that directed the FRA to issue a multi-year extension of the funds. Additionally, as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Bustos included a provision in the House-passed Transportation, Housing and Urban Development 2020 Appropriations Bill that would also support a multi-year extension of the funds.