Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is planning a major announcement on Monday at New York Penn Station. The fate of Florida’s rejected High-Speed Rail funding will finally be revealed, since LaHood told Transportation Nation that he planned to announce the grants’ re-distribution next week.
The location of the announcement can only mean good news for applications from Amtrak and/or New York State. Amtrak has requested $1.3B for beginning the construction and design of HSR in the Northeast Corridor. NYS has requested $517M for numerous projects in the state, including the Moynihan Station Phase 2 Design and plans to fully separate Amtrak and LIRR operations in Queens.
Later that day, LaHood will be stopping at Detroit’s Amtrak station. According to The Detroit News, LaHood is expected to announce major funding for improved rail service in Michigan, supporting the lines between Detroit and Chicago and Detroit and Ann Arbor. Michigan will join Illinois as two states from the midwest reaping the benefits of the demise of Florida’s HSR plans. After Ohio and Wisconsin returned their funding earlier this year, LaHood’s announcements return a piece of the federal investment to the midwest.
With strong federal support established in California and renewed investment in the Midwest increasingly apparent, it makes sense for the US DOT to make a major investment in the Northeast. Monday’s announcement from Penn Station makes the Gateway project a likely winner.