DOT Redirects $1.195 Billion in High-Speed Rail Funds, Florida and California
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on December 9, 2010 that $1.195 billion in high-speed rail funds originally designated for Wisconsin and Ohio will be redirected to other states. The incoming governors of Wisconsin and Ohio have indicated they will not move forward to use high-speed rail money received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As a result, the Federal Railroad Administration will redirect $810 million from Wisconsin and $385 million from Ohio to 14 other states.
“High-speed rail will modernize America’s valuable transportation network, while reinvigorating the manufacturing sector and putting people back to work in good-paying jobs,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “I am pleased that so many other states are enthusiastic about the additional support they are receiving to help bring America’s high-speed rail network to life.”
California and Florida will get the lion’s share of the funding, receiving up to $624 million and $342.2 million respectively.
California recently allocated about $4.15 billion of its previously available $4.3 billion to begin work on a 65-mile stretch of high-speed rail in the Central Valley. The line is planned to connect the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles. In November, DOT awarded Florida $800 million for the Tampa-to-Orlando high-speed rail corridor. Additionally, Washington state will get up to $161 million while Illinois is set to receive up to $42 million for rail projects.
Overall, the Recovery Act included $8 billion to launch a national high-speed rail program designed to modernize America’s transportation network, boosting the economy, energy efficiency and keep the U.S. competitive with other leading nations. High-speed rail grants announced under the Recovery Act can be used only for high-speed rail projects and not for other transportation projects.
Last year, the Obama Administration received a commitment from 30 domestic and foreign rail manufacturers to establish or expand their base of operations in the United States if selected for contracts building America’s high-speed rail network. These rail manufacturers and suppliers committed to not only locate in the U.S., but to ensure high-speed rail projects are built by American workers with American-made supplies. To deliver maximum economic benefits to American taxpayers, the Administration’s high-speed rail program also includes a 100 percent ‘Buy American’ requirement.
Under the Recovery Act, the Federal Railroad Administration originally announced $810 million for Wisconsin’s Milwaukee-Madison corridor and $400 million for Ohio’s Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland “3C” route. The Federal Railroad Administration will redirect $810 million from Wisconsin and $385 million from Ohio, and will work with these states to determine whether they have already spent money under their contracts that should be reimbursed.
The $1.195 billion originally designated for those high-speed rail projects in Wisconsin and Ohio will now be used to support projects in the following states:
- California: up to $624 million
- Florida: up to $342.3 million
- Washington State: up to $161.5 million
- Illinois: up to $42.3 million
- New York: up to $7.3 million
- Maine: up to $3.3 million
- Massachusetts: up to $2.8 million
- Vermont: up to $2.7 million
- Missouri up to $2.2 million
- Wisconsin: up to $2 million for the Hiawatha line
- Oregon: up to $1.6 million
- North Carolina: up to $1.5 million
- Iowa: up to $309,080
- Indiana: up to $364,980
The Tampa-Orlando line will run 84 miles from downtown Tampa to Orlando International Airport. The cost to build this line is projected to be $2.7 billion. The project will be built in the median of Interstate 4, where a 44-foot envelope has been preserved for this purpose.
As an architectural consultant, LEED AP, LEED certification reviewer, real estate broker and AIA associate, Valerie J. Amor is dynamically engaged in sustainability and issues regarding the built environment. Actively participating in several local, county and national organizations and committees focused on sustainability issues, she is also owner/principal of Drawing Conclusions and founder/president of Green Collar Connection, companies engaged in sustainable design, real estate development, green job training and research. Knowledgeable and well connected she brings you timely and thoughtful articles. Reach her at .
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