The City of Alton, Illinois and Madison County Transit were awarded a TIGER III grant of $13,850,000 for the Alton Regional Multimodal Transportation Center (Project) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. This grant has been combined with $7,400,000 of designated High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program funds from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for the Alton Amtrak Station replacement project. The completely new Transportation Center, scheduled for completion in 2014, will create a new surface transportation hub immediately north of the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area. The Project will include a transit terminal, car and bicycle parking, roadway access and bus parking adjacent to a new Alton rail station and boarding platform servicing 110 mile-per-hour passenger trains and Texas Eagle long distance trains. The intent of this project is to implement a seamless transfer between Amtrak services and other facilities near the southern terminus of the Chicago-St. Louis High Speed Rail Corridor, supporting a more regionally and modally balanced transportation system.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is the lead state agency that completed the Alton Multimodal Regional Transportation Center Environmental Assessment (EA), and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is the lead federal agency for the Project. The study area for the Project is the result of a comprehensive investigation encompassing approximately nine miles along the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) mainline through the municipalities of Godfrey, Alton, and East Alton, in southwest Illinois. The preferred station site was evaluated further in the EA by IDOT, and provided adequate passenger access to the new station, and provides adequate room for future expansion of station facilities and associated parking.
FRA finds that the Alton Multimodal Regional Transportation Center as presented and assessed in the EA prepared IDOT, satisfies the requirements of FRA’s Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (64 FR 28545, May 26, 1999) and NEPA (42 USC § 4321), and the Project would have no foreseeable significant impact on the quality of the human or natural environment provided it is implemented in accordance with the commitments identified in the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) signed by FRA on May 21, 2012. As the Project sponsor, IDOT is responsible for ensuring all environmental commitments identified in the FONSI are fully implemented. The EA provides sufficient evidence and analysis for FRA to determine that an environmental impact statement is not required for the Project as presented.