SunRail groundbreaking draws federal, state officials

Jan 27, 2012

The following article was published in The Florida Current on January 27, 2012:

SunRail Groundbreaking Draws Federal, State Officials

Federal, state and local government officials gathered in Orlando Friday for the groundbreaking ceremony of SunRail, the $1.2 billion, 61-mile rail line that will run through Central Florida.

The ceremony drew U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and John Mica, R-Winter Park, as well as Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad. The first phase of the project will lay tracks, improve signals, build new stations and an operations control center. It will run 31 miles, hitting 12 stations from DeBary to Orlando. The second phase will link five stations to the first phase, branching out north Deland and south to Poinciana.

“Working together, as partners, we are creating jobs, growing the economy and offering much-needed transportation options for this region of the state. Today’s momentous event marks not just the beginning of construction – but the beginning of a new chapter in transportation in Orlando and Central Florida,” Prasad told the gathered officials.

Gov. Rick Scott drew consternation from parts of his tea party base when he approved the rail line last year, despite having already rejected $2.4 billion in federal for a high-speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa. He sent Prasad to meet with local officials before he announced his decision, making it clear that local governments – not the state – would be on the hook for any cost overruns.

The project is scheduled to be completed by 2014.

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