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Thursday, July 29, 2010

LaHood, Doyle say there's no derailing high-speed rail line

From an article by Larry Sandler in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Watertown - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Gov. Jim Doyle on Thursday portrayed a planned Milwaukee-to-Madison high-speed rail line as an unstoppable train that Republican gubernatorial candidates can't derail.

"High-speed rail is coming to Wisconsin," LaHood said. "There's no stopping it.

LaHood was in Watertown to sign an agreement to release $46.7 million of the $810 million in federal stimulus money that Wisconsin is receiving to build the 110-mph line.

That's the second installment, after a previous $5.7 million payment.

Republican gubernatorial candidates Scott Walker and Mark Neumann have threatened to shut down construction on the line if they're elected, saying they don't want taxpayers burdened by operating costs. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the leading Democrat in the governor's race, backs high-speed rail.

But LaHood, a former Republican congressman now serving in a Democratic administration, brushed those concerns aside, saying high-speed rail is a national program that will survive changes in political leadership.

In a statement, Walker vowed to stop construction of the train if is elected governor.

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