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County Board unanimously backs Alton for high-speed rail stop

EDWARDSVILLE – The Madison County Board this week unanimously approved a resolution supporting the Alton Multimodal Transportation Center as the second high speed rail stop in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.

The second stop in the area will be located in St. Louis.

The Alton stop will be located in the Alton Regional Multimodal Transportation Center, part of the $72 million Robert Wadlow Town Centre, a transit-oriented development funded by the private and public sectors.

The City of Alton and the Madison County Transit District have been at the forefront of transportation planning, developing the new plan and for securing funding for the transportation center, Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan said. He commended Mayor Brant Walker and the Alton City Council, as well as past Mayor Tom Hoechst, for having the foresight for the Wadlow Town Center.

Dunstan strongly support the Alton high-speed rail stop.

“In addition to the many benefits for the people of Alton and Madison County, it is important not to overlook that the purpose of high-speed rail service is to reduce the travel time between St. Louis and Chicago,” Dunstan stated.

“Adding additional stops along the rail corridor not only defeats the purpose of high-speed rail, it adds significant expense to the project,” Dunstan added. “By just having stations in Alton and St. Louis, you effectively serve the more than 600,000 residents in the Metro East and more than 1.2 million Missouri residents without a replication of services or the significant increase in travel time passengers would experience if another station were added to the line.”

The high speed rail project is designed to reduce travel time between St. Louis and Chicago by providing 110 mile per hour service by 2017. The Illinois Department of Transportation is currently studying alignments from Granite City to St. Louis that will enhance the crossing of the Mississippi River, including the upgrade of the Merchants Bridge in Madison, a critical link for both passenger and freight rail service.

“Madison County is recognized as one of the Midwest’s premier, state-of-the-art intermodal transportation hubs,” Dunstan said. “The addition of a high speed rail stop in Alton, combined with the upgrading of the Merchants’ Bridge in Madison, will only enhance that reputation and help our efforts to attract more businesses – and more jobs – to our area.”

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