New Investment Will Improve Rail Line Between Dearborn and Kalamazoo

Press release from U.S. Rep. John Dingell

October 25, 2010 12:18 PM

Dearborn, MI – Today, Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI15) announced that the State of Michigan will be receiving $150 million to develop a high-speed rail corridor between Kalamazoo and Dearborn.  The funding was awarded through the fiscal year (FY) 2010 High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program.  The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) also announced a second grant, for $3.2 million, that will pay for planning involved in the project.

“This announcement is another positive step forward towards developing high speed rail in Michigan,” Dingell said. “ While Michigan has the infrastructure necessary to support rail transit between Detroit and Chicago, high-speed rail will never be a reality without the service upgrades that will be made possible through this grant.

“Our people want alternative transit options, and this grant will help Michigan, and the United States, to compete with our neighbors abroad.  The United States has fallen behind in the development of our transit corridors, witnessing China and Japan take the lead in developing successful high speed rail corridors.  Rail lines in China, Japan and other countries, have brought added benefits from making communities more livable to attracting new industries and companies.  If we are to continue to compete with our neighbors, we must make these critical upgrades in our infrastructure.”

Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. added: “Congressman Dingell’s experience and know-how represent a huge advantage for this community and for all of the people he represents.  Time and time again, we have benefited from his efforts on our behalf.  Those benefits range from helping us stabilize our neighborhoods, to securing jobs and reinvestment, to improving and protecting our environment.  This grant is just another one of the examples where Congressman Dingell’s work has produced great results for the City of Dearborn.”

Today’s announcement from DOT follows the announcement in January 2010 that Michigan will be receiving $40 million in high-speed rail funding for train station development.  Congressman Dingell has fought tirelessly for high speed rail development in the United States, and was one of the authors of the High- Speed Rail Development Act of 1994, P.L. 103-440, which provided assistance to expand high speed rail beyond the Northeast Corridor.  Earlier this month, Congressman Dingell announced DOT would award $13.9 million to the Ann Arbor Bridges project. That funding will allow the City of Ann Arbor to reconstruct a critical corridor connecting downtown to  the University of Michigan (UM), Washtenaw County and the State of Michigan. Congressman Dingell has been fighting on behalf of the community for this project with the Department of Transportation for more than a year.