Transportation Secretary LaHood announces $200 million for Michigan rail project

DETROIT (WXYZ) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is in Detroit this afternoon. He made a major announcement on the future of high-speed rail in Michigan.

LaHood says Michigan has won about $200 million in federal funds for high-speed rail between Detroit and Chicago.

Most of the money awarded would be for improvements on a stretch of tracks between Dearborn and Kalamazoo that would allow for trains to travel up to 110 m.p.h.

Those joining the Transportation Secretary for the announcement included Gov. Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Senator Carl Levin and Senator Debbie Stabenow.

"This funding will help move Michigan and the nation forward by making high-speed rail a part of our economic infrastructure," Levin said. "Our economic competitors around the world have long enjoyed the benefits of high-speed rail service between their cities. They have demonstrated that high-speed service can create jobs and promote economic growth, and that it can provide a more energy-efficient alternative."

"Construction of new high-speed lines will create jobs and generate more business activity in Michigan," Stabenow said. "This effort will not only boost our economy, it will provide residents with more transportation options. As gas prices rise, it is critically important that travelers have more choices in addition to driving."

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