All Aboard Florida said on Friday it will begin construction north of West Palm Beach early next year.
The announcement follows two important financial developments.
First, the railroad on Friday won approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to proceed with its application for a $1.6 billion federal loan.
The DOT approval, known as a record of decision, signifies that All Aboard Florida’s proposal for Phase 2 passenger rail service, between West Palm Beach and Orlando International Airport, complies with the National Environmental Policy Act, an idea that Treasure Coast governments have long disputed.
All Aboard Florida officials on Friday said the railroad now has all the federal environmental approvals it needs to begin Phase 2 construction through the Treasure and Space coasts.
“This is the most critical and final step in the extension of Brightline’s service to Orlando, and we are excited to move forward with Phase 2,” Dave Howard, Brightline CEO, said in a news release.