Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Georgia jockeys for high-speed rail dollars Florida didn't want

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Georgia is one of 24 states that have thrown their names in a hat for billions in high-speed rail funding that Florida Gov. Rick Scott surprisingly declined earlier this year.

A Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman says she's compiling some info about what project — which surely includes Atlanta — the state thinks could compete for the funds. We'll update when we hear word.

GDOT's facing stiff competition for the $2.4 billion that's available. Amtrak's asked for cash. And so have California and Illinois — states that have already done heavy lifting to prepare for high-speed rail. And we don't know if Georgia's offered any matching funds for the projects, which could range from more studies to physical work to prep rail lines.

But it's a surprising move by a state that's been all about roads for decades — and with a Republican governor, no less.

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