California High-Speed Rail Status Check

The New York Times recently checked in with the California High-Speed Rail project and reported the current details, still in the process of a long evolution.

2 minute read

March 17, 2022, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Construction fo the California High-Speed Rail project is shown running parallel to Highway 99 in California's Central Valley.

The California High-Speed Rail project's San Joaquin River Viaduct, shown in February 2019 | California High-Speed Rail Authority / Wikimedia Commons

Jill Cowan writes for the New York Times to describe the California High-Speed Rail project at a "crossroads": 1,000 workers are currently employed in the state's Central Valley building along 119 miles or right away, but the project is inching along compared to its high-speed ambitions. State voters approved a $10 bond in 2008 and the project broke ground in 2015, and planning for the project goes much further back into history. The California High-Speed Rail Authority was established in 1996, for instance.

The premise of Cowan's article, given how much time has elapsed and the relatively inconspicuous signs of the project's development along Highway 99: "many California residents have long since lost track of what is being built where, and when or if it will ever be completed."

"In 2008, when the bond measure passed, the project symbolized the state’s ambition to build and think big," writes Cowan. "But in the years since then, the project has become something else: an alarming vision of a nation that seems incapable of completing the transformative projects necessary to confront 21st century challenges."

As noted in the article, the Biden administration is pushing the approval of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as signs of a coming "infrastructure decade." The California High-Speed Rail promises nothing more, at this point in the history detailed in the source article below, than to be one of the toughest tests of that ambition.

Sunday, March 13, 2022 in The New York Times

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