If Illinois doesn’t act fast, QC will lose funding for passenger rail

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MOLINE, Illinois - Time is running out for a huge transportation project in the Quad Cities.

The passenger rail project from the Quad Cities to Chicago could lose funding if the governor doesn't act by the end of the month.

"Without the funding the rail project itself can't happen," said Henry Marquard, from the Quad Cities Chambers of Commerce.

It's the 11th hour for the state to make a commitment, freeing up the Federal Railroad Administration, to bring Amtrak to the Quad Cities.

"The FRA has requested a pretty significant update with this progress report in June 30 and that's simply because the project has gotten delayed so much, we're a couple of years behind schedule now and so they really want to see something, a plan to continue this and it's actually going froward," said Marquard.

With new leadership in Illinois, the commitment to the project is uncertain.

"The governor points out its difficult to do that with having the budget predicament they're in right now," said Marquard.

No commitment from Springfield means the federal money from Washington is gone. That's a loss of $177 million.

"That the real heart breaker over this is this is something that all parts of the quad cities, both states all communities public sector, private sector, across the spectrum, everybody's supportive, everybody's passionate and everybody wants to see it happen," said Marquard.

Construction on the upper floors of the old downtown Moline O'Rourke building continues. The hotel portion is still a go but no one knows what will become of the ground floor, where the railroad passengers would have bought tickets and spent money at restaurants and coffee shops.

 

 

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