KANSAS CITY, MO. — The Florida Department of Transportation, through its newly created Florida Rail Enterprise, has selected HNTB Corp. and Wilbur Smith Associates (WSA) in a joint partnership, as its program manager for passenger rail in the state of Florida.

The primary assignment for this team will be assisting with implementation of Florida’s high-speed rail program, which recently received a grant award of $1.25 billion for Phase 1 — Tampa-Orlando. This was one of the top awards in the Federal Railroad Administration’s competition for $8 billion available in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds through the Vision for High Speed Rail in America program.

The Florida Rail Enterprise is responsible for planning, constructing, maintaining, operating and promoting Florida’s high-speed rail system. The enterprise, created in December 2009 by the Florida Legislature, also coordinates the development and operation of Florida’s publicly funded passenger rail systems.

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 made in 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.”

Adrian Share, WSA’s high-speed rail program manager added: “The Florida DOT’s visionary planning has us in a position where 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 grass roots support, and a great project with almost all the right of way secured.”

For more information about high-speed rail in Florida, please visit www.floridahighspeedrail.org.

For more information about Wilbur Smith Associates or HNTB Corp., please visit www.wilbursmith.com, or www.hntb, respectively.