Los Angeles Times » Buried beneath Fresno were some costly surprises for the California bullet train authority, which disclosed Tuesday that the price of utility relocations along a 29-mile section of railway has surged from a 2013 estimate of $69 million to $396 million. The California High-Speed Rail Authority board on Friday took up the problem, hearing from its staff that the original estimate contained a number of miscalculations.
Dezeen » Chinese authorities have announced that the bridge between Hong Kong, the Chinese Mainland and Macau is on track to open, despite concerns that parts of the structure have been washed away by the sea. Hong Kong’s Highways Department rebuffed claims that the concrete blocks protecting an artificial island connecting the Hong Kong side of the bridge to the tunnel under Mainland China’s waters have been damaged by waves.
The Associated Press / Santa Cruz Sentinel » The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded $3.5 billion in grants for a high-speed rail line in California, and the US Department of Transportation plans to audit the project. Costs have increased since the project was first announced, and the California authority behind the rail line says it will cooperate with the audit.
Progressive Railroading » The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General has agreed to an audit of California’s high-speed rail project, U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) announced yesterday. The office agreed to action after Denham requested in December 2017 that it look into the project’s “continued cost overruns” and a timeline that has grown over the years.
Miami Herald » Investigators have preserved large sections of the bridge, storing them in a Florida Department of Transportation warehouse. They’ve also sent core samples of concrete pulled from the debris for testing and plan to examine tensioning cables, which were being adjusted by a worker when the bridge fell.
Houston Chronicle » High-speed rail executives asked skeptical lawmakers Monday to provide more stable, long-term funding for the bullet train in the face of ballooning costs. It’s supposed to be up and running between San Francisco and Los Angeles by 2033. Lawmakers and analysts questioned whether the project can realistically be finished.