Rail services company RailCorp has received $500.5 million from the state of Florida in its $1.6 billion project to build and operate the new South Florida Freight Corridor (SFFC).
Rick Scott, the Republican candidate for governor, said in a statement Friday the state would provide the funds to help pay for the projects “critical infrastructure projects.”
The company is also getting an additional $30 million to finance the project.
It is one of the first major projects to be completed and will create more than 4,500 construction jobs in the state.
“The Governor’s bold plan to invest in infrastructure will create thousands of new jobs, increase our state’s gross domestic product and strengthen our economy and its competitiveness,” Scott said in the statement.
The state has been pushing for a high-speed rail project for decades, but its efforts have stalled over concerns about safety and environmental impacts.
President Donald Trump has proposed a $1 trillion project in Texas and a $3.6 trillion plan in California, but the state and federal governments have disagreed over funding the two projects.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration said it would delay construction of the project until 2018, though it is unclear when it will start.
Scott’s statement on Friday does not specify how the state will receive the funds.
The announcement comes as Scott and the Florida Republican Party are battling for the White House in a November election that is being watched closely for signs of Trump’s support for the project, which would bring the nation’s second-largest rail system to the Sunshine State.
As the election nears, Florida’s economy is likely to be the key issue for voters, said Jim McBride, president of the Florida Association of Realtors.
Trump’s election will have implications for the economic future of the state, he said.
In 2016, Florida had a median household income of $46,700, and nearly one-third of Floridians live in poverty.
Construction on the new rail line is expected to begin next year, though the federal government is funding much of the cost.
This article was originally published on Reuters.