After surviving three governors and numerous legislative sessions, Florida’s SunRail commuter rail project that will tie together the city of Orlando with four other counties extending up to the eastern seaboard is about to get underway.
The Florida Department of Transportation has issued a request for proposal for a vendor to provide insurance brokerage services for the planned $1.3 billion SunRail project. The state transportation is requiring an initial policy for rail corridor general liability coverage of $30 million no later than September 30. Proposals are due by July 21, with the contract expected to be awarded on August 12.
On July 5, the transportation department gave approval to Archer Western/Railworks –a joint venture led by Atlanta-based Archer Western Contractor and RailWorks Track Systems, Inc.—to begin the final design and maintenance activities needed to start construction on the corridor.
On July 6, the department also gave its approval for the Boise, Idaho-based MotivePower Inc. to begin the design and manufacturing of locomotives that will power the SunRail railroad cars.
The SunRise commuter rail transit project will run along a 61-mile stretch of existing rail freight tracks currently owned by the Jacksonville CSX rail company. The first phase of the project will cover 31 miles, linking 12 stations stretching from DeBary to Orlando. Phase II will service an additional five stations running north to DeLand and south to Poinciana.
The U.S. Government is prepared to spend $357 million for the first phase of construction, and Governor Rick Scott also set aside $269 million in this year’s budget for the project.
Also providing funding is the Florida Department of Transit Administration and the counties of Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Osceola, and the city of Orlando. Walt Disney World is partially subsidize its Commuter Bus Transit Service throughout its property. Florida Hospital has also committed to pay $3.5 million for its own rail stop and to market and subsidize its potential 17,000 riders.
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