Twenty-four states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak are vying for $2.4 billion in federal aid that became available when Florida's governor canceled a high-speed rail project in his state, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday.
The deadline for applications for the funds was Monday. The Transportation Department is reviewing 90 applications seeking a total of $10 billion, LaHood said.
"They know that high-speed rail will deliver tens of thousands of jobs, spur economic development across their communities and create additional options for their citizens as the country's population grows," LaHood said in a statement.
Among the requests was one from Amtrak for $1.3 billion to enhance train service in the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington. The proposal includes a $720 million project to replace the more than 100-year-old movable Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River in New Jersey with a new, high-level fixed bridge.
Amtrak's application also includes $188 million for preliminary engineering and environmental analysis for two new tunnels under the Hudson River into Manhattan and $50 million for similar work for the development of a new Penn Station South facility to accommodate more tracks and platforms in downtown New York.