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Construction begins on Atlanta streetcar line

Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and other local officials to help kick off construction of a new 2.6-mile streetcar line that will operate through Atlanta’s business, tourism and convention corridor.

Operated by Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, the line will cross an economically distressed downtown area and help serve as a catalyst for new residential, office and retail developments, U.S. Department of Transporation officials said in a prepared statement. The line is projected to serve about 7,000 people who live within a quarter-mile of the route.

“All across America, there is work to be done on projects like this,” LaHood said. “Now is the time to connect people who need work with the work we need to do to improve our nation’s transit centers, highways, railways, airports and ports.”

LaHood’s visit followed President Obama’s Jan. 24th State of the Union address, in which the president called for using funds saved from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay down the national debt and fund infrastructure projects across the nation.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/2/2012