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article imageObama pulls high speed rail projects in Wisconsin and Ohio

By Michael Krebs     Dec 9, 2010 in Technology
Citing disinterest from newly-elected Republican governors, President Obama has redirected federal high-speed rail dollars from Wisconsin and Ohio to other states in need of the infrastructure investment.
The Obama administration has pulled federal funds from high-speed rail investment projects in Wisconsin and Ohio, and reallocated the money to other states that are more eager to develop high-speed rail corridors between their cities. The $1.195 billion that the federal government had intended for Ohio and Wisconsin will now be dispersed to 14 other states.
"I am pleased that so many other states are enthusiastic about the additional support they are receiving to help bring America's high-speed rail network to life," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, according to a Reuters report.
California and Florida will benefit the most from the shift - with California slated to receive as much as $624 million and Florida to see roughly $340 million.
High-speed rail projects are seen as a necessity between many cities in the United States, and manufacturing conglomerates like Siemens and General Electric are aggressively courting federal and state governments on the benefits of high-speed rail solutions.
"Florida is about to make U.S. transportation history as the first state to create a high-speed rail network with trains connecting its metropolitan areas at speeds of up to 200 mph," Siemens states on its web site.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie effectively pulled the plug on the largest commuter rail project in the country, and Republican mid-term election victories have put the brakes on many large-scale infrastructure investment projects in other states, with both Wisconsin and Ohio indicated an unwillingness to move forward on the high-speed rail projects - citing cost concerns from incoming Republican governors.
"Today is one of the saddest days during my four years as governor because I see jobs leaving Ohio, I see resources leaving Ohio, I see vital infrastructure leaving Ohio," outgoing Ohio Governor Ted Strickland said, according to Reuters. "And I see other states being enriched by resources that would otherwise have created thousands of new jobs, revitalized our cities and helped keep our young people in Ohio."
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