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.
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.
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.
Curbed SF » California’s high-speed rail project is facing years of delays and tens of billions of dollars in cost overruns, with the worst case scenarios approaching $100 billion, however, support for the project remains virtually unchanged since voters approved it ten years ago, according to a poll released last week by the non-profit research group the Public Policy Institute of California.
Merced Sun-Star » With the shifting plans around the state’s high-speed rail and its rising costs, Merced’s mayor headed to Sacramento this week to speak with officials in an attempt reaffirm the bullet train’s importance to the region. Mayor Mike Murphy spoke to the California High-Speed Rail Authority on Tuesday advocating for Merced to remain in the initial plans for the train.