The Texas Tribune » High-speed rail developers have been eyeing a 240-mile stretch of mostly rural land sandwiched between the urban hubs of Dallas and Houston for years. Their goal: buy it up and build America’s first bullet train. But several rural landowners don’t plan on giving up their private property without a fight. And their supporters in the Legislature have filed so many bills that could disrupt Texas Central Partners LLC’s plans that there’s an entire subcommittee tackling the ongoing battle over the multibillion dollar project.
The New York Times » California’s newly installed governor, Gavin Newsom, in his first major address to lawmakers this month, sent the project into disarray. The governor announced that the project, which was expected to connect the Central Valley to Silicon Valley, would be dramatically scaled back because of exorbitant costs.
Los Angeles Times » If Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is elected governor as expected, he’ll keep building the state’s two contentious public works projects: the bullet train and twin water tunnels. But he’ll scale back both. Newsom will concentrate on completing a high-speed rail line from the San Joaquin Valley to the San Francisco Bay Area. As for the beleaguered water project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, Newsom will try to reduce its size to one tunnel.
The Fresno Bee » And as engineers tinker and fine-tune the design of the three construction segments between Madera and Bakersfield, the overall number of parcels needed has grown, putting the agency even further behind – even as an economy in rebound after the 2007-09 recession sends real estate prices ever higher.
Los Angeles Times » The California bullet train project has cost state taxpayers an average $3.1 million a day over the last year — a construction spending rate higher than that for the Bay Bridge, Boston’s Big Dig or any U.S. transportation project in recent history. But still it’s not enough, planners say.