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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 18:42 EDT

Cal U’s Maglev Fits Stimulus Plan Criteria

January 9, 2009

‘Shovel-ready’ project could move forward within 90 days of funding

CALIFORNIA, Pa., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — California University of Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh-based U.S. Maglev Development Corp. are urging lawmakers to include Cal U’s urban maglev demonstration project in the proposed $750 billion federal economic stimulus legislation now under discussion on Capitol Hill.

Congress is expected to pass the economic stimulus package within weeks, and President-elect Barack Obama has said he hopes to sign the completed bill into law early in his administration.

The Cal U Maglev Sky Shuttle project is “shovel-ready” and meets the requirements of the stimulus plan, university administrators and Maglev officials note. Construction can begin within 90 days after funding is made available, and the low-impact, “green technology” project will enhance productivity for the University, the region and the nation.

“The project has the potential to create hundreds of jobs here in southwestern Pennsylvania,” said California University President Angelo Armenti, Jr. “This could position the region as the hub of an emerging industry with benefits nationwide.”

Since 2001, more than $40 million in federal, state and industry funds has been invested in Cal U’s urban maglev project. Designed to accommodate both passenger and cargo vehicles, it will demonstrate the value of magnetic levitation technology in hilly urban settings.

Maglev components have been fabricated in western Pennsylvania and a test track has been constructed by General Atomics in San Diego, Calif. Testing has been conducted there during the past three years and is expected to be completed in 2009.

“We have done our homework,” said President Armenti. “The engineering and design and the required environmental work for the first phase of the $250 million project are complete. If the funding is made available, the urban maglev group can start excavating, build the substructure, and erect the support columns and guideway for the Sky Shuttle.”

The project’s first phase, requiring an estimated $50 million, would allow for construction of a 2,200-foot dual-use guideway, Intermodal Center and stations. Subsequent phases, requiring $200 million, would bring the system from Cal U’s upper campus, which includes student housing and athletic facilities, downhill to the main campus in California Borough.

Once the project is completed, some 15,000 riders are expected to use the maglev daily, said David O’Loughlin, president of U.S. Maglev Development.

The $250 million total system would be able to move people or cargo over a route more than 4 miles long. It would carry passengers from upper-campus parking areas to the lower campus, where parking is being realigned because of safety concerns. Plans also call for a stop at The Center in the Woods, a senior center not far from the campus.

At an international conference last month in San Diego, both U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter and Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner spoke in favor of the Sky Shuttle at Cal U.

“I am hopeful that California University’s urban maglev demonstration project will move forward as a new administration sets fresh priorities in Washington, D.C.,” President Armenti said.

California University of Pennsylvania is a proud member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

SOURCE California University of Pennsylvania


Source: newswire