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if a particular corridor extends beyond individual state borders, close coordination

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High Speed Rail 6-28-22 1 2

if a particular corridor extends beyond individual state borders, close coordination—both formal and informal—with your neighbors is essential. More than just backroom deals, these are lengthy relationships that bear real fruit in the form of finalized plans, environmental reviews, and dedicated shared funding agreements. This appeared to have been a significant advantage for those who received ARRA funding and a hindrance for those who did not as, by design, several of the award-winning corridors involved multi-state compacts. For example, the eight-state Midwest Regional Rail Initiative was established as far back as the mid-1990s. In consultation with the federal government, the states worked to develop a rail plan that was released in 1998 and updated in 2004. Last summer, the eight governors, along with the mayor of Chicago, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in anticipation of joint applications for ARRA funding that laid out plans for collective high-speed rail priorities and planning. Partly as a result, the projects in and around the Chicago hub received nearly as much funding ($2.16 billion) as did California ($2.34 billion.) Similarly, the Virginia-North Carolina Interstate High-Speed Rail Commission, created in 2001, agreed to recommend to its respective parent legislatures the enactment of an interstate rail compact. Both state legislatures passed laws establishing the Compact in 2004. The North Carolina—Virginia corridor received a total of $620 million spread among three investments.


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