Fast Train Leaves Station

California Gov. Jerry Brown kicks off high-speed rail.

Courtesy California High-Speed Rail Authority

1In July, 30 years after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to study high-speed rail between Los Angeles and San Francisco, he signed an $8 billion bill to start building it. There are still many chances the full $69 billion plan will derail since polls show most voters in car-loving, cash-strapped California oppose it, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

But Gov. Brown says the construction will put thousands back to work.“You just have to take the bull by the horns and start spending and investing in things that make sense,” he said at the signing.

Super Sidetracks

Union Pacific railroad hopes to build a huge railyard in Arizona.

2 The Union Pacific railroad company, struggling to cope with fast-growing freight volumes, is eager to buy 1,873 acres of land in Pinal County from the state of Arizona to build the biggest railyard of its kind between El Paso and Los Angeles. Whether or not the state will sell the land near Picacho Peak State Park could depend on the results of studies analyzing the impact of the Red Rock yard, the Arizona Republic reports.

Pinal County is in favor of the project, which it says will bring an estimated 290 direct and 6,000 indirect jobs, and generate $26 billion in economic activity over 20 years.

Opponents fear that the yard, big enough for tracks six miles long and 74 tracks wide, will impact the environment and views from and of Picacho Peak.

Orlando’s Medical City Rises

The medical/research hub will be in place by the end of this year.

3 Nearly 4,000 people will soon work where just a few years ago there was nothing but 7,000 acres of flat pasture land.

The six bioscience/research institutions that form Orlando’s Medical City are all expected to be open by the end of 2012.

The Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine, and the Burnett Biomedical Sciences building are already up and running.

By year’s end the University of Florida Research and Academic Center, the Orlando Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center, and Nemours Children’s Hospital will join them.

In addition to the 4,000 direct employees, consultants project Medical City will create 30,000 jobs, annual tax revenues of $460 million, and a regional impact of $7.6 billion.

Train to Plane on Track

Loudoun County, Va., okays funding for Metrorail to Dulles and beyond.

Courtesy Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

4 Everybody agreed that Washington, D.C.’s Metrorail needed to be extended to Dulles Airport. The sticking point, not surprisingly, was who was going to pay the massive bill for it. Phase one, a $2.75 billion stretch from East Falls Church, Va., to the eastern edge of Reston, Va., is a done deal, scheduled to be finished next year. But the second phase, 11.6 miles of track from there to the airport and beyond into eastern Loudoun County, Va., was in doubt because the county balked at committing $270 million to the project. In early July, county supervisors narrowly approved the spending in a 5–4 vote, but not without a county supervisor worrying that the price tag could grow.

When will you be able to take the train from Dulles into the nation’s capital? About 2018.

No Grocery, No Homes

Boston residents fight for supermarket as part of a new development.

5It’s official. If Trinity Financial can’t get a 20,000-square-foot grocery store to move in, it won’t be able to build a $175 million residential complex on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

The ruling came from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, which owns the 1.5-acre One Canal parcel along the Greenway. Trinity wants to build a 425,000-square-foot development with 430 apartments, 21,000 square feet of retail, and 159 indoor parking spaces for residents, the Boston Business Journal reports.

Residents showed up at an approval meeting en masse to request an affordable grocery in the project.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Orlando, FL, Boston, MA.