Senator John Kerry, along with Congressmen John Olver, Edward Markey, Barney Frank, Jim McGovern, Stephen F. Lynch, Niki Tsongas, and Richard E. Neal, today announced that Massachusetts will receive $2,888,305 from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to fund high speed rail advancements in Western Massachusetts.
"This is a huge win for Massachusetts and shows once again that our state is leading in high speed rail innovation," said Sen. Kerry.
"Massachusetts has shown that it can compete for the federal funds necessary to advance key transportation projects across the Commonwealth. In western Massachusetts, today's award of $2.8 million fully funds the original Knowledge Corridor application request. This important project is integral to the Northeast's vision for regional rail and economic growth. The rehabilitation of the Connecticut River rail line will provide a faster, more direct route for the Amtrak Vermonter service, restore rail access to the cities of Northampton and Greenfield, encourage regional economic growth and put people back to work," said Rep. Olver.
"Today's announcement of $2.8 million in high speed rail funds is a victory for Massachusetts commuters that will position our transportation system for the future and put people to work on a critically needed infrastructure project. Our delegation in Congress teamed to make the case for federal funding for the Knowledge Corridor project, and I look forward to the increase in convenience and ridership that it will produce in the future," said Rep. Markey.
"This is very good news for the people of Massachusetts. It is the result of a close cooperation between Governor Patrick and the Congressional delegation as well as responsiveness of the Obama administration," said Rep. Frank.
"A state-of-the-art high speed rail system would be an incredible boost to Massachusetts' economy. I want to thank Secretary LaHood for his consideration," said Rep. McGovern.
"High speed rail is one of the best long-term investments we can make in America. It makes perfect sense for job creation as well as for our environmental and commercial interests. This is an investment in our future," said Rep. Lynch.
"These federal funds will improve our transportation infrastructure while creating jobs in the Commonwealth. High speed rail in Massachusetts has the potential to the ease congestion on our roadways, open new areas for economic development, and reduce energy use, which is why I joined with members of our delegation in advocating for these funds," said Rep. Tsongas.
"Having been an outspoken and longtime supporter of high speed rail, both an east-west and north-south line, I am very pleased with today's development. It is another example of our delegation working together to make high speed rail in Massachusetts a reality," said Rep. Neal.
The funding was awarded to Massachusetts' "Knowledge Corridor -- Restore Vermonter" project, from unspent dollars originally designated for Wisconsin and Ohio. After the incoming Governors of those states both indicated that they will not move forward with high speed rail projects, Massachusetts' Congressional Democrats wrote a letter DOT Secretary Ray LaHood stating that "Massachusetts would be ready and able to spend those funds on [High Speed Rail] projects."