WASHINGTON — 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.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has 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,” LaHood said. “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.
“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 North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue.
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.