FRA issued a Notice of Intent (Notice) on February 18, 2014, to advise the public that FRA and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will prepare a Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Granite City to St. Louis High-Speed Rail (HSR) Project.
The proposed Project would increase rail capacity associated with the Mississippi River crossings to accommodate increased rail traffic and improve reliability for identified incremental service additions anticipated with the proposed high-speed rail service of the Chicago to St. Louis HSR Corridor Program.
For the purposes of the Tier 2 EIS, a study area has been established that includes existing rail corridors. These corridors cover approximately five square miles between MP 273, near Granite City, IL and the St. Louis Gateway Station in St. Louis, MO, and include two 1,000-foot rail corridors (MacArthur Bridge and Merchants Bridge crossings) and two 500-foot intersecting roadway corridors (Niedringhaus and Bissell Avenues).
The Project is needed to accommodate the projected high-speed passenger rail traffic between MP 273, near Granite City, IL and the St. Louis Gateway Station in St. Louis, MO, and is consistent with the overall purpose and need that was established in the Tier 1 EIS. Improved travel time, service reliability, and safety are necessary to attract travelers to high-speed passenger rail from automobile and air travel. Because of inadequate rail capacity and deficiencies in the existing rail infrastructure, there is currently a modal imbalance within the Chicago to St. Louis corridor.
Additional Project information can be found online on the Project Web site at www.idothsr.org.