Construction of Orlando’s SunRail commuter rail project has officially begun after a ground breaking ceremony.

Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad, Congressman John Mica, Congresswoman Corinne Brown and Federal Transit Administration Regional Administrator Dr. Yvette Taylor joined local funding partners and several hundred supporters at the future home of the SunRail station in Altamonte Springs.

Secretary Prasad said:

“Your grassroots support for this critical project has made SunRail a reality for the citizens and businesses of Central Florida.

“Today’s momentous event marks not just the beginning of construction – but the beginning of a new chapter in transportation in Orlando and Central Florida.”

Construction on Phase I of SunRail includes double-tracking, signal improvements, stations and an operations control center.

The 31-mile first phase of SunRail will serve 12 stations, linking DeBary to Orlando.

Phase II will service five additional stations, north to DeLand and south to Poinciana. SunRail commuter rail service is expected to begin in 2014.