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Granholm Signs Agreement on High Speed Rail; Eight States Will Work for Funding for Midwest Corridor

Contact: Megan Brown 517-335-6397

July 27, 2009
 
Memorandum of Understanding Signed at Chicago Summit
 
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that establishes a partnership among eight states to work cooperatively to fund the Midwest Corridor, a regional high-speed rail plan that will connect cities throughout the region with frequent, reliable high-speed and conventional intercity rail service.  The initiative, which includes a Michigan Detroit-Pontiac-Chicago line, is modeled after the larger vision of President Barack Obama and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to create a nationwide rail network.
 
"The Midwest Corridor is a one-of-a-kind partnership that will create jobs for Michigan workers, enhance transportation options for citizens, and provide significant economic development opportunities for communities," Granholm said.  "I am pleased that the Obama administration recognizes the importance of this regional initiative and the extensive planning that has already been done to prepare for this opportunity.  Today's action is another important step in the process to make high-speed rail and the jobs that come with it a reality in Michigan and the Midwest."
 
The MOU, signed at the Midwest High Speed Rail Summit in Chicago, establishes a multi-state steering group to provide a single voice in support of the region's collective high-speed rail priorities.  Through coordination, the region hopes to capture part of the $8 billion that President Obama has made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) for high-speed passenger rail, the largest investment that the federal government has made in over a decade.
 
According to the American Association of Railroads, every dollar spent on investments in our nation's railroads - tracks, equipment, locomotives, bridges - yields $3 in economic output.  Additionally, each $1 billion of investment creates 20,000 jobs.
 
The state of Michigan submitted its pre-application for Recovery Act high-speed rail funding on July 10; the next deadline for the application process is August 24.  Please visit http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-11056-218528--,00.html for a copy of the seven pre-applications already submitted for Recovery Act high-speed rail funding.
 
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