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Oklahoma transportation officials to discuss state high-speed rail

(The following story by Gavin Off appeared on the Tulsa World website on August 3, 2009.)

TULSA, Okla. Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will meet with members of the Federal Railway Administration this week to discuss the possibility of bringing high-speed rail service to Oklahoma.

Gary Ridley, ODOT director, said the meeting would help determine how the department proceeds with its nearly $2 billion request in federal stimulus funds.

Last month, the department submitted a letter of intent to ask for $1.99 billion of the federal government's $8 billion pot of high-speed rail funds. A formal application for the money is due in mid August.

Ridley said he envisioned high-speed rail in Oklahoma growing as the state highway system has done for the past half-century.

"It's going to become a bigger player than it is today," he said.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

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