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Shipman to Godfrey Track Improvement Project, Illinois

Environmental Assessment

FRA and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) have proposed providing a double track railroad on the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) from Shipman to Godfrey, Illinois (Project).   The Shipman to Godfrey Track Improvement Project is a component of the Chicago to St. Louis High-Speed Rail (HSR) improvements to enhance existing passenger transportation and create a more balanced use of the transportation network.

As part of the continuing efforts, the Project is re-evaluating the Original Project 2003 EIS for modifications to the Shipman to Godfrey Section of the Chicago to St. Louis HSR Corridor.

The features in this section that have been modified or added since the Original Project conditions were evaluated include:  1.) A change in the composition of trips per day from 10 passenger service to 2 passenger service and 8 HSR service; 2.) Providing wider spacing between the tracks from 13.5 feet to 20 feet to facilitate maintenance; 3.) Providing an access roadway alongside the track; and 4.) Installing a Positive Train Control (PTC) signaling system on the main track and passing track. The proposed Project would reduce travel time and improve service reliability, which are vital to increasing intercity passenger rail ridership between Chicago and St. Louis.

FRA finds that the Shipman to Godfrey Track Improvement Project, as presented and assessed in the attached Environmental Assessment (EA) satisfies the requirements of FRA’s Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (64 FR 28545, May 26, 1999) and the National Environmental Policy Act (42 USC § 4321 et seq.), 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) executed by FRA on October 16, 2014.
 
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.
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