WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation announced late Friday that it is opening up the $2.4 billion of federal high-speed rail money that was rejected by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to a competitive bidding process for states willing to take on new projects.

States have until 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on April 4 to submit their bids for any portion of the money, according to a DOT statement. Projects will be graded on how well they improve local transportation needs as well as generate economic sustainability and reduce energy consumption.

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