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Gov Reafirms Faith In Controversial CA High Speed Rail Project

The cost of CA's high speed rail system has doubled, but Gov. Brown has shown his faith in the authority in charge of the 800-mile system by asking the legislature, many of whom oppose HSR, to release bond funds the voters approved three years ago.
November 12, 2011, 9am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Clearly looking towards the future and drawing comparisons with the transcontinental railroad and the Golden Gate Bridge, Gov. Jerry Brown evaluated the costs of the nearly $100 billion LA-SF rail system outlined in the new business plan with that of widening the state's freeways and enlarging airports.

Brown will back the High Speed Rail Authority's request to the legislature to release $2.7 billion of the $9.75 billion, Proposition 1A, 2008 bond funds, necessary to access $3.3 billion in federal grants.

"I want to see the first (Central Valley) segment completed in short order," Brown said, noting that under the current plan the full scale-system would not be finished until he was 95 years old. "You can't build something like this in one jump. We have the first step paid down."

"The governor downplayed widespread criticism that the rail construction would destroy businesses, damage farms and displace homes along the route. He recalled that during his time as Oakland mayor, opposition surfaced against every building project from people concerned about traffic and those complaining about structures that would block sunlight."

"It is part of the reason we can't get anything done in the state," Brown said about opponents of building projects. "You don't make an omelet unless you break the egg."

Thanks to The Nooner

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Published on Friday, November 11, 2011 in Los Angeles Times: Environment
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