This notice was received by WBGZ just after 9:00am Thursday, April 10.
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will host a public meeting for the High-Speed Rail (HSR) Program, Godfrey to Shipman Environmental Assessment (EA) from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the Knights of Columbus, 1713 Stamper Lane, Godfrey, Ill. 62035. The meeting will be held in an open house format with a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m.
This project is part of the IDOT Chicago - St. Louis HSR current construction project that will deliver passenger rail service at speeds of up to 110 miles per hour from just south of Joliet to just south of Alton.
The purpose of this meeting is to solicit public input on the environmental documentation for this portion of the HSR project. The improvements evaluated as part of the EA generally provide for upgrading existing tracks, adding a second mainline track, constructing turnouts and fencing, adding signaling, and improving and modifying existing at-grade crossings. The EA study area includes a nearly 22-mile section of the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) from Shipman, Illinois to Godfrey, Illinois, within the counties of Jersey, Macoupin, and Madison.
“This project advances the work we are doing to create a safe and efficient traveling environment within the Chicago to St. Louis corridor,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “When constructed, it will help to further reduce passenger train delays that occur as a result of more frequent trains and a lack of passing opportunities. Reducing travel time and improving service reliability are two essential components to increasing the overall viability of the passenger rail service between Chicago and St. Louis.”
As a part of the larger effort to expand high speed rail in Illinois, under the guidance of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), IDOT is conducting a Tier 2 Environmental Impact Study (EIS) on the Granite City to St. Louis segment of the Chicago to St. Louis corridor. This study is evaluating possible future improvements, beyond those funded by the current program. This is likely to include additional rail system capacity, additional locations for increased speeds, more train frequencies, the potential for new stations between Alton and St. Louis, and other features. Numerous alternative configurations and aspects will be evaluated. Funding has not been identified to construct the recommended improvements between Granite City and St. Louis. As a separate project, the Tier 2 EIS will not be a subject at this public meeting.