WASHINGTON D.C. (CBS4) – The dream of Florida lawmakers to have a high-speed rail line which would run from Miami to Orlando and other parts of the state just got a step closer.
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that Florida would receive $342 million for a bullet train from Tampa to Orlando. Word of the windfall came today from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood during a noontime phone call with U.S. Senator Bill Nelson.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Will You See Another Relief Payment?
Florida officials can thank Wisconsin and Ohio for this unexpected boon because neither state wanted the proffered high-speed rail money.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Students Honored For 'Doing The Right Thing" And Helping Save Lives
The $342 million comes on top of $2.05 billion the federal government has already awarded Florida and another $280 million the state has agreed to pay.
“With the federal money today and the previous commitment, plus what the state has pledged, the $2.65 billion price tag for construction would be fully paid for,” said Nelson in a written statement. “The federal government has stepped up and done its part. There should be no reason now why this can’t get done.”MORE NEWS: Miami’s Interim Police Chief Manny Morales Responds To Accusations By Ousted Chief Art Acevedo
The decision puts the ball squarely in Governor-elect Rick Scott’s court. During his campaign, Scott opposed high-speed rail. The New York Times has reported he will take another look at the numbers to see if the project is viable in his view.