By CBSDFW.com Staff

DALLAS (AP) — The developer of a long-planned and controversial high-speed rail line linking Dallas and Houston has announced it has signed a $16 billion contract with a firm in Italy to lead design in the project.

Texas Central announced Tuesday it has inked the deal with Webuild, which is based in Milan.

Residents have fought for years against the train that would travel up to 200 mph. They’re against public funding of the project and the use of eminent domain to build it.

The president of Texans Against High Speed Rail criticized the announcement as a way to continue to drum up support for an unpopular project.

CBSDFW.com Staff