State approves high speed rail grant applications

Georgia's State Transportation Board Thursday voted unanimously to support applications for federal high speed rail funds to develop a route, called the "Capital-Coastal" loop, connecting Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, Savannah and Macon. The board also approved applications for the Atlanta-Charlotte and Atlanta-Macon lines and to update the state rail plan. "These grants will enable the department to complete the environment documents necessary for us to move forward in designing and further developing future passenger rail corridors," said Board Chairman Bill Kuhlke Jr. "The Capital - Coastal Loop in particular would provide connectivity and travel choices to several key economic centers. By completing these plans now, Georgia will be well positioned to take advantage of federal funds for design, right-of-way or even construction." The four grant applications, totaling $16.5 million, would come from the Federal Railroad Administration. Any funds received would require a 20 percent match from the state and local governments along the corridors.
In other business, the Board recognized the department for receiving GOLD LEED certification for its headquarters at One Georgia Center in Atlanta and LEED Certification for the Georgia DOT District 3 office in Thomaston. LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.


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