Price Tag Increases Again on High Speed Rail in California

With costs rising from $40 billion to $105 billion, the California High-Speed Rail project is still moving slowly along, though with a heftier price tag.

February 14, 2022, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) recently released the draft 2022 business plan for the California High-Speed Rail project. The draft business plan adds another $5 billion in cost to the already delayed and increasingly expensive project.

An article published by Roads & Bridges shares news of the new business plan, aggregating original coverage by Kathleen Ronayne for the Associated Press.

As noted by both articles, the estimated cost of the project was $40 billion when voters approved bond funding for the project in 2008. The project estimate now totals $105 billion.

Both articles provide coverage of the current funding opportunities in the mix for the project. California Governor Gavin Newsom's draft budget for the year, for example, proposes billions of dollars for rail and transportation projects, which could contribute funding if approved by the State Legislature. Meanwhile, Democrats in the California State Legislature closed out the 2021 legislative session by trying to revoke funding from the 2008 bond.

Then there is the federal government's see-sawing support for the project:

"Back in May 2019, the Federal Railroad Administration announced it was officially terminating its agreement with the CHSRA for the high-speed rail project, canceling nearly $1 billion in funding," according to Roads and Bridges. The Biden administration has since returned the funding, according to the article.

Governor Newsom has also wavered in support of the project in the past: In February 2019, Newsom announced plans to scale back the high-speed rail project.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 in Roads and Bridges

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