The Florida Department of Transportation has set public meetings next week during which the agency will present its plans for high-speed rail connecting Tampa and Orlando.

FDOT officials will present an overview to the public of the Tampa-Orlando project, then hold a question and answer session with those in attendance. There will be three meetings from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 next week in Tampa, Lakeland and Orlando.

Prior to each public meetings, FDOT officials will also be holding seminars for minority-owned and small businesses to learn more about the process of bidding for work on the project. The schedule for both the business and public meetings is here.

Meanwhile, work on the high-speed rail system connecting Tampa and Orlando is ongoing, with surveys, real estate appraisals and soil sampling along I-4. In January, President Barack Obama announced that $1.25 billion in stimulus money would go to constructing the Tampa-Orlando leg.

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