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The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have agreed on an extension for Illinois to use $177 million in federal funding for a Chicago-to-Quad Cities passenger-rail project, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) announced yesterday.IDOT informed the FRA in June that it would proceed with the proposal to reintroduce passenger-rail service between Chicago and the Quad Cities.Bustos, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, wrote to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in April and again in June asking that he allocate previously approved federal dollars for the rail project or request an extension before they expired on June 30. Rauner "relented" and agreed to request an extension, which is now official, according to Bustos' press release."I am very pleased that the Illinois Department of Transportation and Federal Railroad Administration have agreed to an extension through September 30, 2017, but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure this project gets completed," said Bustos.FRA officials are "encouraged" that the state has recommitted to restoring passenger-rail service between the Quad Cities and Chicago, FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg said in the release.In 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded IDOT $177 million in High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program grants to restore rail service from Chicago to the Quad Cities for the first time since 1978.
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