St. Clair County puts $500,000 towards high-speed rail station

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by KMOV.com staff and Associated Press

KMOV.com

Posted on February 25, 2014 at 6:25 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 25 at 8:49 AM

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill.—St. Clair County has committed $500,000 toward an East St. Louis station along an emerging high-speed route.

The county’s council voted to put the money toward the investment during a meeting Monday night.

The state is working to connect Chicago and St. Louis with a 284-mile rail track capable of allowing trains to reach 110 mph.

As of now, the rail will pick riders up at Union Station and Alton.  

It’s now up to the Illinois Department of Transportation to consider whether the spot in East St. Louis is a good idea for a stop.

“We would put that money up toward the engineering, design, whatever the needs are to add this to the current plan,” said St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern. “We would put that money toward that. We believe that strongly in the community of East St. Louis and that transportation need.”

The money from St. Clair County will only be given out if IDOT agrees to the stop. Kern guaranteed taxes would not go up to fund the project.

“Much of the high speed rail money is committed so the state of Illinois has put $400 million into high speed rail, the federal government has put in the rest to make that over $1 billion project,” he told News 4.

The cost of an East St. Louis station is not clear. The project is expected to be completed in 2017.

IDOT is holding a meeting to discuss the proposed station at the Jackie Joyner Kersee Center in East St. Louis from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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