WASHINGTON - The Federal Railroad Administration received 278 preliminary applications for $102 billion of high-speed rail grants, even though the stimulus law authorized only $8 billion of federal funds for the projects.

Meanwhile, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee reported yesterday that nearly half of the total available formula funds for highway and transit made available by the recovery package may be committed soon. At least 4,089 highway and transit projects in all 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia have been put out for bids, the committee said. States and the district have signed contracts for more than 2,200 projects totaling $6.5 billion.

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