Illinois is calling "all aboard" for more federal dollars for high-speed rail improvements.
Gov. Pat Quinn, Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Mark Kirk announced Wednesday the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the Land of Lincoln $186 million to make upgrades to the Chicago to St. Louis corridor, Quinn said in a statement.
Illinois can thank the Sunshine State for that.
Florida's governor rejected $400 million of the $2 billion in federal funding. The Department of Transportation alerted Congress it would dispatch that money to other states.
Work between Dwight and Joliet could create almost 6,000 direct and indirect jobs, Kirk said.
Quinn said Illinois appeared on track to become the Midwest's high-speed rail hub.
"We are committed to quickly turning federal investment in rail into jobs and economic development across the state," Quinn said. "This latest reward is another example of our ongoing efforts to lead the nation in development of high-speed rail."
Illinois still has two more projects eligible for funding, including a multi-state, $807 million application for new train cars and locomotive equipment and $1 million for preliminary engineering and environmental work on a new station in East St. Louis.