Illinois’ high-priced higher-speed rail project was the center of attention at a public meeting in Alton on Thursday.  The Illinois Department of Transportation hosted an open house at the Atrium Hotel to update the public on construction of the nearly $1.9 billion Chicago to St. Louis higher-speed rail line.

IDOT Spokesman Brian Williamsen says the entire project is on schedule for completion in late 2017. 

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The upgrade is expected to shave one hour off the five and a half hour trip between Chicago and St. Louis. Trains will travel up to 110 miles per hour.  When the project was announced in 2010, Illinois was to receive $1.2 billion in federal tax dollars. The federal share is now $1.6 billion with the state contributing almost $300 million.  Completion of the Alton Multimodal Center just off the Homer Adams Parkway is scheduled for completion by next summer. 


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