Pritzker signs bill to advance Rockford to Chicago rail service

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Gov. JB Pritzker has signed a bill that creates a High-Speed Rail Commission to create a plan to connect Rockford to Chicago within the next 10 years.

HB 399 becomes effective immediately, and says the Commission must create a plan for a high-speed rail line connecting St. Louis to Chicago through Rockford, Moline, Peoria and Decatur. The plan must include current Amtrak and Metra services and use inter-city bus service to coordinate with the rail line.

The Commission is charged with conducting a ridership survey and make “recommendations concerning a governance structure, the frequency of service, and implementation of the plan.”

The project has secured $275 million in funding as part of the Rebuild Illinois statewide construction program.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, preliminary engineering and environmental analysis are among the next steps before final design and construction.

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