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O'Malley makes pitch for federal $$$ spurned by Fla.

Sun transportation writer Michael Dresser has a post on his Getting There blog about an unusual request by Gov. Martin O'Malley:

Seeking to capitalize on Florida Gov. Rick Scott's decision to turn down $2.4 billion in federal stimulus funds for a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando, Gov. Martin O'Malley has asked Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to shift much of the money to projects in Maryland and other places along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.

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In a letter dated today, O'Malley urged LaHood to move much of that money to projects such as the estimated $1 billion construction of a new tunnel to replace the century-old B&P Tunnel just south of Penn Station. That tunnel is regarded as a critical bottleneck slowing trains on the Northeast Corridor.

O'Malley also outlined several other Maryland projects that could benefit from an infusion of a transfer of the money spurned this week by Florida's new Republican governor, who expressed objections to government spending on a project the previous administration had eagerly sought.

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