California High-Speed Rail Project Gets New Matching State Funds
The California High-Speed Rail Authority Board voted on December 20 to match $616 million in recently released federal funds for high-speed rail. By using revenues from state bonds to equal the amount redirected from earlier from Ohio and Wisconsin by the U.S. Department of Transportation, California now has $5.5 billion to begin construction of its proposed San Francisco-to-Los Angeles route. The new monies will allow engineers to build nearly a quarter of the project's 520-mile first phase in the Central Valley, adding Bakersfield and Fresno.
A final decision on the exact track alignment will not be made until all environmental site work is done, but the initial section of the line California is able to build from near Madera to the northernmost part of Bakersfield may double to 120 miles. On December 8, the board selected a 65-mile stretch through the Central Valley to begin construction. At that time, it announced that construction is expected to begin in 2012 and finish in 2017. See the California High-Speed Rail Authority press release and the earlier high-speed rail coverage in EERE Network News.