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Grants Keep Dream Alive For High Speed Rail

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2010

Seven years after a study said it was feasible to look at commuter rail linking the Illinois Valley to Joliet, local officials are ready to move to the next step.

Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach announced last night that the federal government has awarded the area a 245 thousand dollar grant and the state a 150 thousand dollar grant to do a “comprehensive transportation corridor study”.  The grants are expected to cover the entire cost of the study.

Eschbach says the study will include looking at creating bus service to the suburbs and city to try and prove ridership exists for commuter rail.  The committee is also looking at a second route of having commuter rail connect Ottawa to Aurora using the Illinois Railnet line.

Ottawa City Planner Tami Huftel says the immediate next step is to hire a consultant to do the comprehensive transportation study.

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