California bullet train project will seek $4.1 billion to complete Central Valley construction

California
A bridge in Madera County crucial to the bullet train project, shown in summer 2020, had a serious problem with corroded tension strands that broke in December 2019. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

A bridge in Madera County crucial to the bullet train project, shown in summer 2020, had a serious problem with corroded tension strands that broke in December 2019. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

The California bullet train authority will seek a $4.1-billion appropriation to complete construction in the Central Valley, as costs and schedules continue to grow.

The massive appropriation, which would come out of a 2008 bond fund that voters approved, would provide enough money to complete Gov. Gavin Newsom’s starter system from Merced to Bakersfield, the authority said in newly released documents. The 171-mile rail link would not connect to Los Angeles for more than a decade and not until tens of billions of dollars can be obtained for tunneling through mountains.

The Legislature last appropriated money from the bond fund in 2012, when the measure passed the Senate by a single vote. Since then, the Legislature has grown increasingly skeptical about the slow pace of the project.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) has backed a plan to shift some of the Central Valley funding to high-speed rail segments in Southern California and the Bay Area, saying that investments in big urban areas would deliver more ridership and reduce more greenhouse gas emissions.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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