The Illinois Department of Transportation is considering two options for a high-speed rail line between St. Louis and Granite City.
It’s part of a broader high-speed rail corridor between St. Louis and Chicago that’s aimed at shortening commute times between the two cities.
Construction is already underway on rail improvements between Alton and Joliet. But Congress hasn’t issued federal funding yet to build a high-speed rail line between St. Louis and Illinois. IDOT is taking the preliminary steps to apply for the federal money.
Vice President Joe Biden will be joined by past and present top federal transportation officials on Wednesday when he stops by Granite City to promote the five-year anniversary of the passage of the federal stimulus measure.
In Granite City, Biden is expected to highlight the spending on port improvements along the Mississippi River that were made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was aimed at stemming the economic downturn underway in early 2009.
The Great Recession has hit the industrial Midwest especially hard in recent years, from big cities to small factory towns. But now, in at least one small Illinois city, local leaders believe the worst is finally behind them.
Sitting across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis, Granite City, Ill., has certainly seen better days. In its downtown, there are more boarded-up and empty storefronts and vacant lots than there are businesses.