States may begin chasing lucrative High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail grants as early as July 10 by submitting “pre-applications” for up to $8 billion of economic stimulus funds.
The Federal Railroad Administration released guidelines on June 17. “It will be illuminating to see which projects are ready to progress, on what time frame and at what cost,” says Donald M. Itzkoff, partner, Nossaman LLP, Washington, D.C. Detailed applications are due by Aug. 24 for grant categories called “Tracks” 1, 3 and 4 and Oct. 2 for “Track” 2. “These documents will be hundreds of pages long,” says Richard J. Peltz, senior consultant at Gannett Fleming Inc., Harrisburg, Pa. “I’m not sure if states understand it will cost tens of thousands of dollars just to prepare the proposals.”