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Illinois to Iowa: Make decision on passenger line
July 22, 2011
CHICAGO — Illinois has asked Iowa to hurry it up with a decision about a passenger rail line.
Iowa has yet to decide on setting aside matching funds to develop tracks from Iowa City to the Quad Cities. That's a vital stretch of a Chicago-Iowa City route Illinois has committed to.
Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon addressed the issue at the Rock Island Train Festival on Thursday.
She says progress on the Chicago-to-Moline portion of the line is moving slowly in part because federal funding won't be released to Illinois until Iowa makes its decision.
Last year, federal authorities allotted $230 million to the overall plan.
Advocates say the extended route will help spur growth and create hundreds of jobs. Detractors counter the line would cost way too much and be underused.
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