Dylan Scott is a GOVERNING staff writer.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded nearly $200 million to the Michigan Department of Transportation on Wednesday to finance improvements to the rail line between Detroit and Chicago, which will cut travel time by 30 minutes when completed.
The grants will pay for track and signal improvements on the Amtrak lines between Detroit and Kalamazoo specifically, according to a department press release, which will reduce the travel time between the two major cities. Seventy-seven percent of the trains on the Wolverine and Blue Water services will be able to travel at speeds of up to 110 MPH.
The project will create about 800 jobs during the construction phase, expected to commence in spring 2012, according to department estimates. It will allow for better service for freight rail customers, including the Ford Motor Company.
"Investing in rail service will spark economic development in communities along a corridor linking Detroit and Chicago, two vital Midwest cities," Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said. "A faster, reliable passenger rail system is a priority for younger generations and vital to Michigan's ability to compete globally as businesses look to locate or expand."