Florida's high-speed rail project is dead

"It's unfortunate for the state because we could remake our transportation system that is now built on an interstate system that gets so clogged at rush hour," Nelson said in radio statement. "And you can imagine what it's going to be like 20 and 30 years from now."

Instead, LaHood will reallocate the funding to other eager states, especially those in the Northeast corridor, that quickly lined up for additional high-speed rail money. 

Scott has said he wants to improve the state's ports and had expressed concern that the state may have to pay for cost overruns of the rail project and other expenses if the rail line failed to attract riders. 

To that end he directed the state's Transportation Department to spend $77 million to dredge a port in Miami so it can handle larger ships that will be moving through the Panama Canal, which is being widened.

He predicted the project would create 30,000 jobs in the area. The high-speed train was supposed to create 25,000 jobs, but Scott said many of those would be short-term.

In previous statements, LaHood has said he's worked with the state "to make sure we eliminated all financial risk for the state, instead requiring private businesses competing for the project to assume cost overruns and operating expenses."

State leaders have joined that chorus saying they've eliminated all risk to taxpayers.

"We have addressed all of the governor's concerns," Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio said. "We have structured this so that if there were cost overruns, the private sector would take care if it."

Iorio, along with the mayors of Orlando, Lakeland and Miami, presented an agreement on Wednesday that has local authorities taking over the project with the help of the private sector. 

The Tampa-to-Orlando project was set to be the first part of a line that state proponents want to extend to Miami and possibly to Jacksonville.

This story was first posted at 10:43 a.m. last updated at 11:58 a.m.