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State applies for high speed rail funding in Rowan County

RALEIGH ó Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that North Carolina has submitted the first of its high speed rail applications for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The list includes grade separating Klumac Road in Rowan County.
NCDOT filed six “project ready” applications totaling $92,612,936, requesting $75,950,546 in Federal Railroad Administration grants and pledging a total of $16,662,390 in matching funds. The merit-based funding will be awarded before the end of this year.
If funded, the projects will help retain or create an estimated 1,457 jobs for North Carolinians. The FRA requires the projects to be completed within two years of the grant award.
“These rail projects are critical for communities throughout our state,” said Perdue. “Working with our partners in other states will improve the transportation system in North Carolina and in the Southeast.”
The State Transportation Department worked with the North Carolina Railroad Company, Norfolk Southern Railway, CSX Transportation and Amtrak to complete the applications. The projects include rehabilitating locomotives and passenger equipment for new service, doubling the size of the Cary station, adding much needed parking in High Point, lengthening the boarding platform in Burlington.
In addition to safety improvement projects that add rail network capacity and improve service reliability, NCDOT also applied for funding to complete environmental studies and engineering necessary to consider service extensions to western and southeastern North Carolina.
The state is partnering with Virginia to request funds to complete final engineering for the development of a shorter Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor route with top speeds of 110 miles per hour, which would connect Raleigh with Richmond.
The two states also will partner to complete a corridor development plan connecting Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Richmond and Washington D.C., with frequent, reliable passenger trains that can travel at top speeds of 90 -110 mph.
The second round of applications for funding of a comprehensive corridor development plan is due to the FRA on Oct. 2.
ARRA will provide $8 billion in competitive funding for high speed rail corridors around the country.

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