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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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