WASHINGTON (Associated Press) — High-speed rail projects in California, Florida and Illinois are among the big winners of $8 billion in grants announced Thursday by the White House – the start of what some Democrats tout as a national rail-building program that could rival the interstate highways begun in the Eisenhower era.
President Barack Obama announced the awards during a town hall meeting in Tampa, Fla. – a follow-up to Wednesday's State of the Union address that focused on getting Americans back to work. Thirteen passenger rail corridors in 31 states will receive grants, which are funded by the economic recovery act enacted last year.
Obama said focusing on building 21st century infrastructure projects is an important element of the country's economic recovery.
"It creates jobs immediately and it lays the foundation for a vibrant economy in the future," Obama said.
Though the administration bills the program as "high-speed rail," most U.S. projects won't reach the speeds seen in Europe and Asia. California's trains would be by far the fastest, exceeding the 200 mph achieved by some trains overseas.
Source: Exerpted from the Associated Press via Huffington Post