St. Louis Public Radio News
6:05 pm
Wed August 5, 2009

Missouri seeks $200 million for rail projects

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission voted today to seek $200 million in federal funding for several railroad projects.

The projects are designed to improve Amtrak service between St. Louis and Kansas City.

Brian Weiler of MoDOT says they include $50 million in "shovel ready" projects.

"Completing a second rail bridge over the Osage River...this would remove the last single-track bottleneck between Jefferson City and St. Louis," Weiler said.

Other projects include a longer passing side track between Kansas City and Sedalia, upgrades to several railroad crossings, and, according to Weiler, the elimination of at least two crossings.

Weiler says an answer from Washington could come by early winter. But he adds that the federal money is not guaranteed.

"There is a pot of $8 billion that is available...there'll be stiff competition...the Federal Railroad Administration received $103 billion worth of applications from 40 states," Weiler said.