Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2011

Contact: Josh Kauffman (IDOT) 217/ 558-0517
Guy Tridgell (IDOT) 312/814-4693

New Environmental Study to Begin For Chicago to St. Louis
High-Speed Rail Public Invited to Open Houses

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have recently begun a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to study the impacts of potential additional improvements along the Chicago to St. Louis high-speed rail corridor. In 2010, Illinois received $1.25 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to complete the environmental study. The purpose of this project is to expand the frequency of high-speed rail between Chicago and St. Louis, which includes the full build-out (additional second track and other improvements). The current corridor operates on a single track that is shared by both traditional freight and passenger rail service (Amtrak).

 “The study provides Illinois with a great opportunity to examine additional enhancement possibilities on the Chicago-St. Louis high-speed rail corridor,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “We hope Illinoisans also will take the opportunity to attend these public information meetings and help us by taking part in the process.”

IDOT is hosting five open house meetings to seek public input regarding the Chicago to St. Louis high-speed rail project. The public is invited to stop by anytime between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to learn more about the project and provide feedback at the following meetings:

Joliet, IL - Tuesday, March 1: Jacob Henry Mansion / Victorian Ballroom 20 South Eastern Avenue / Joliet, IL 60433

Bloomington, IL - Wednesday, March 2: Double Tree Hotel / Brickyard 1 & 2 10 Brickyard Drive / Bloomington, IL 61701

Springfield, IL - Thursday, March 3: Prairie Capitol Convention Center / Room B11 One Convention Center Plaza / Springfield, IL 62701

Carlinville, IL - Tuesday, March 8: Blackburn College / Demuzio Campus Center 700 College Avenue / Carlinville, IL 62626

Alton, IL - Wednesday, March 9: Holiday Inn / Ballroom 3800 Homer Adams Parkway / Alton, IL 62002

The meetings will be accessible to persons with disabilities. Anyone needing special assistance should contact Paula Hughes of Vector Communications Corporation at (314) 621-5566. Persons planning to attend who will need a sign language interpreter or other similar accommodations should notify TTY/TTD number (800) 526-0844 or 711; TTY users (Spanish) (800) 501-0864 or 711; and for Telebraille dial (877) 526-6670 at least five days prior to the meeting.

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