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Roadbuilders Show Concern Over Florida’s High-Speed Rail

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Florida roadbuilders are concerned about the state’s high-speed-rail funding scheme and its effect on other transportation funding. State transportation planners aren’t committing any state funding to the rail plan for the foreseeable future, expecting private-sector funding for operating expenses between Orlando and Tampa, according to the state’s application for federal funding. “There doesn’t appear to be any recognition at all of the cost to the state,” says Robert G. Burleson, president of the Florida Transportation Builders Association in Tallahassee. “All the studies show that the train isn’t really profitable until you get it extended to Miami.” Burleson estimates that extending the system to Miami would require an annual commitment of between $100 million and $150 million for about 30 years.

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