Madison County helping Alton cover costs for high-speed rail sta - KMOV.com

Madison County helping Alton cover costs for high-speed rail station

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By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks

(KMOV) -- Madison County has agreed to help the city of Alton pay for a new regional transportation hub for a high speed rail line from St. Louis to Chicago.

Alton was given a federal grant for the hub in 2011. That grant covers almost $14 million of the cost, but the city has to match 20 percent of that amount. The Madison County Transit Board voted to cover half the cost of that 20 percent.

County officials are working on an exact breakdown of how much will be given to Alton.

The announcement comes a week after St. Clair County committed $500,000 toward an East St. Louis station along the emerging high-speed route. The county’s council voted to put the money toward the investment during a meeting on Feb. 24.

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. 

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