California HSR Gets $2.25 Billion Boost

A huge boost for the CA High Speed Rail project will result from an injection of $2.25 billion from President Obama's $8 billion HSR stimulus funds, twice as much as any other project.
January 28, 2010, 5am PST | Irvin Dawid
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The huge grant, likely to be matched by the $9.95 billion Prop. 1A (2008) could not come at a better time. The CA High Speed Rail Authority has been hammered recently because of alleged shortcomings in its business plan.

"President Barack Obama will award the California high-speed train project a $2.25 billion stimulus grant today (Jan 28), a huge boost that virtually guarantees construction will begin in backyards along the Caltrain tracks within two and a half years.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority could match the grant with voter-approved Proposition 1A money.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in September applied for $4.6 billion in stimulus cash, including $1.28 billion for the section along the Caltrain tracks (from San Jose to San Francisco).

In all, 13 corridors in 31 states received funds. Obama timed the announcement to coincide with his State of the Union address and focus on job creation. The authority estimates that every $1 billion spent will generate about 20,000 jobs."

From Hundreds turns out at state Senate hearing in Palo Alto on high-speed rail:
"As the state bids for $4.7 billion in federal stimulus funding, it is pitching its high-speed rail project as the most "shovel-ready" in the nation, with groundbreaking possible by 2012. But a growing number of residents and officials on the Peninsula and elsewhere are calling on officials to hold the shovels. They say the project has not been well-planned and could be headed for financial ruin if oversight doesn't improve.

(State Senators) Simitian and Lowenthal have proven receptive to their concerns, pushing the California High Speed Rail Authority to address holes in its business plan in order to receive continued state funding. They pressed the authority on its latest plan, released in December, at a hearing Tuesday at the state Capitol."

Thanks to Lowell Grattan

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Published on Thursday, January 28, 2010 in Mercury News
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