New Illinois multimodal hub will bring transportation modes together, connect Moline with Chicago (TIGER Series)October 25, 2010
By Kathleen Woodruff
The city of Moline, Illinois was a big winner in last week’s TIGER grants, receiving $10 million to convert the historic O’Rourke building on the downtown Moline riverfront into the Moline Multimodal Station, serving the community as a transportation hub that will reconnect the Quad Cities with Chicago; and ultimately Iowa City, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska.
Similar to a project in Normal, Illinois that won a grant back in February, the new hub will connect all transit services at one new central location in Moline, bringing together Amtrak, local buses, taxis and bicycle and pedestrian facilities, enhancing this area of Moline’s waterfront and making travel easier for all Quad Cities residents. It is expected to support up to 825 new, permanent jobs and eventually, when the new passenger rail link from Moline to Chicago breaks ground, it will produce 1,600 direct and indirect jobs.
(And that specific Quad Cities-Chicago rail link won high-speed rail funding separately today for that corridor and will definitely move forward.)
“Throughout the state, we have seen transportation investments bring new jobs to communities,” Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said. “This new station and new Amtrak service from Chicago will serve as a magnet for economic development for Moline and the entire Quad Cities region.”
With many local elected officials from both Illinois and Iowa present at the announcement last week, including Governor Pat Quinn and U.S. Representative Phil Hare (D-IL), there was a palpable excitement in the room, especially for those who knew how competitive the TIGER II grants are. US DOT received more than 1,000 applications totaling $19 billion for just $600 million in funding, leaving far more communities across the U.S. disappointed than elated last week.
The Moline Transportation center was 1 of only 75 projects funded in the TIGER program, and many of the officials applauded the work of the locals at Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition and Renew Moline, which both worked countless hours to put together a compelling application and assemble a large diverse coalition and local supporters to ensure that local interests and needs were considered.
“The Amtrak Station funding is the culmination of years of hard work by Quad Cities’ community leaders and elected officials who took action in response to the outpouring of public demand for passenger rail service,” said Paul Rumler, Executive Director of the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition.
The new station will be built across from the existing Centre Station facility and connected via a pedestrian walkway. The facility will support passenger rail, public transit, car rental and water taxi, making it much easier for passengers to move from mode to mode.
“This station was one of the final pieces to the puzzle of bringing passenger rail to the Quad Cities,” Congressman Hare said. “It will be an engine for economic development for the entire Quad Cities region.”
The grant was awarded to the Illinois Department of Transportation, which was directed earlier this year by Governor Quinn to make the Moline Transportation Project a top priority. Governor Quinn committed $45 million in state funds to construct necessary connections between the Iowa Interstate Railroad and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway that will allow for passenger rail service to reach the Quad Cities. The construction for the connection, which is to begin early 2011, will create an estimated 440 jobs.
“The Illinois Department of Transportation is committed to building a network of passenger rail that creates jobs and serves the residents of a 21st Century economy,” Secretary Hannig said. “This project puts us one step closer to accomplishing that goal.”
LISTEN: Audio of Governor announcing the funding to build the Moline Transportation Center.
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series profiling the winners of the US DOT’s TIGER grants on the T4 America blog. For more information about the TIGER grants, view our interactive map and list of all the winners, read the rest of the posts in the series profiling the winners, and read all TIGER-related stories with the “TIGER” tag from the blog.