Thursday, March 18, 2010

Florida DOT taps HNTB, Wilbur Smith, to manage HSR project

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Florida’s Department of Transportation, through its newly created Florida Rail Enterprise, has selected HNTB Corp,. and Wilbur Smith Associates, in a joint partnership, as its program manager for passenger rail in the state of Florida. The two companies will focus on developing theSunshine State’s high speed rail link between Tampa and Orlando, using the $1.25 billion granted by the federal government to develop Phase 1 of across-state route linking Tampa, Orlando, and Miami.

The Florida Rail Enterprise, created by the statelegislature in 2009, is responsible for planning, constructing, maintaining, operating, and promoting Florida’s HSR system. The Enterprise also is charged with coordinating the development and operation of Florida’s publicly funded passenger rail systems, including southern Florida’s TriRail operations and theSunRail regional rail system proposed for the Orlando area.

The HNTB/WSA team will provide overall program support and oversight for planning, design, public outreach, vehicle and systems integration, operations, construction, project controls, and procurement of all contracts on the Florida high speed rail program.

“It’s exciting to see the return on the investment we madein high speed rail,” said Peter Gertler, HNTB’s high-speed rail services chair.“I’m confident that our momentum will continue to grow as more funding is released.”

“The Florida DOT’s visionary planning has us in a positionwhere all the stars have aligned to move this first HSR Express system in the country into implementation: strong public investment in the infrastructure, bipartisan political and grassroots support, and a great project with almost all the right of way secured,” said Adrian Share, WSA’s high-speed rail program manager.

More information about the state's HSR program is available at www.floridahighspeedrail.org.