SunRail project to get extra funding; Tracks to be finished by year's end

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Federal transportation officials announced Friday that the SunRail project is getting more money.

The 61-mile commuter rail will connect DeLand to Poinciana and is expected to relieve congestion on Interstate 4.

The first trains are scheduled to start running next year, and WFTV found out that the extra funding means more jobs for central Florida.

The $87 million more for the project means construction workers can stay on the job to finish the first phase of SunRail.

The $615 million project is projected to put more than 10,000 people to work. However, it's not just construction jobs that depend on the money.

Twenty-six developments along the route, like the Health Village at Florida Hospital, started building around the stations with the hope that train traffic would bring people to their establishments.

"For us, this is a long-term picture of being able to recruit people, attract them to live right here, walk to work, bike to work, that kind of thing," said Florida Hospital President and CEO Lars Haumann.

Florida Hospital officials told WFTV the $230 million investment they're building has everything to do with the project.

The hospital said it is building fewer parking spaces at Health Village because it's expecting people to take the train in.

Construction workers are expected to finish working on all 32 miles of track by the end of the year.