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DOT announces $20.3 million for North Carolina high speed rail

(The U.S. Department of Transportation issued the following on July 12, 2010.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In January, President Obama announced that North Carolina was awarded $545 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to continue its development of high-speed intercity rail. Today, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation and the State of North Carolina have finalized a grant agreement for $20.3 million, the first installment of the $545 million awarded to the state.

“President Obama’s bold vision for high-speed rail is a game changer for U.S. transportation,” said Secretary LaHood. “We’re improving North Carolina’s transportation infrastructure while putting people back to work. That’s a win for everyone.”

“North Carolina has planned well and is set to build a world-class transportation network that will link the Tar Heel State to Washington, D.C. and the Northeast through high-speed rail,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation will use the $20.3 million to refurbish passenger coaches and locomotives to expand rail service across North Carolina. The Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration is actively working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation on additional grant agreements for the remaining $525 million to further develop the state’s high-speed rail corridor.

“North Carolina has been a leader nationally in restoring passenger rail as a viable transportation alternative and we look forward to pursuing that goal in partnership with the federal government, beginning right now with this grant,” said Gov. Bev Perdue.

"Today’s announcement means North Carolina can begin work on developing a first-class, high-speed passenger rail that will make traveling across our great state easier and more efficient,” Senator Kay Hagan said. “High-speed rail will help ease congestion on our roads and lessen our dependence on foreign oil. Most importantly, this project will create jobs—my number one priority.”

“North Carolina is part of an elite group as one of only seven states receiving high-speed rail corridor development funding,” Rep. David Price said. “As part of more than $500 million in Recovery Act investments being made to modernize North Carolina’s rail system and increase rail speeds, this funding will further what must be our highest priority: putting North Carolinians to work”

Nationally, ARRA provided an $8 billion down payment for high speed rail.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

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