By Freedom Foundation of Minnesota
ST. PAUL — The federal transportation bill that finally became law last week keeps the wheels on highway funding, construction jobs and public transit programs, but appears to derail passenger rail projects like the proposed $1-billion Northern Lights Express line from the Twin Cities to Duluth — at least for now.
The development bolsters the recent decision by the Anoka County Regional Rail Authority to rescind financial support and pull out of the 155 mile proposed NLX line, which parallels a failed Amtrak line that shut down in 1986.
“These projects are financially unsustainable. There’s not enough advocates to spend that amount of money on the federal level to support these projects. The bottom line is that Anoka County is ahead of the game. The federal government is catching up to what Anoka County has already decided,” said Anoka County Commissioner Matt Look, chair of the Anoka County Regional Rail Authority.
The $105-billion Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, or MAP-21 as it is officially titled in the federal transportation funding legislation, includes no mention of high-speed rail funding through the 2014 fiscal year, according to lobbyists and government officials who have combed through the 599 page bill.
Read the complete story at Freedom Foundation of Minnesota.