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Sunrail Funding Threatened

November 17th, 2009 by flanews

A lack of funding for Floridas tri-rail system is threatening to knock future rail projects off track.

State lawmakers are rushing to make a deal to secure federal dollars to build a commuter train from Deland through Orlando. A lack of funding for Tri-rail, which services Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach, is causing a hiccup in the plan. Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos says besides the money the all the pieces are in place.

When you look at the projects around the country, and you look at ones that are truly shovel-ready, when it comes to high-speed rail we are one of the few corridors. We own 92% of the property. We truly can get that project moving sooner rather than later. That’s what I’ve heard out of Washington, they want a project that they can get shovels moving and get some action immediately. I think Florida is not the only place, but one of the only places that can get a new high-speed rail system up and going, said Kopelousos.

The federal government plans to award money this winter to states ready to move forward with rail projects, which means the clock is ticking for lawmakers who will have to find millions of dollars for Tri-rail. Governor Charlie Crist says hes optimistic lawmakers will reach a deal in time to claim those federal dollars.

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