The comment period on a plan to expand Amtrak service between Chicago and Milwaukee has been extended to Jan. 15.
The decision to expand the comment period was made by the departments of transportation of Illinois and Wisconsin, which help pay for the service and want to expand it from six to 10 daily roundtrips.
The expansion was recently the subject of an environmental assessment conducted by the two departments in conjunction with the Federal Railroad Administration.
That study has drawn criticism from several Chicago suburbs on the route of the Hiawatha Service trains because it proposes building a siding for freight trains to wait while Amtrak and Metra commuter trains pass by.
Suburban officials and residents fear the siding will be used by freight trains for long waits and may aggravate traffic congestion.
Scott Speegle, the passenger rail communications manager for the Illinois Department of Transportation, said the three agencies involved in creating the environmental assessment decided to extend the comment period because of the initial public response that it received.
“The volume of responses and comments we got from individuals showed a lot of people were interested and it was a good idea to extend the period,” Speegle told DailyNorthShore.com.
The assessment can be viewed on the WisDOT website
Tags: Amtrak in Illinois, Amtrak in Wisconsin, Amtrak's Hiawatha service, Chicago-Milwaukee, Chicago-Milwaukee route, Federal Railroad Administration, Hiawatha expansion, Hiawatha Service, Illinois Department of Transportation, Wisconsin Department of Transportation