Tuesday, August 09, 2016

State rail authority will seek a $35-million increase for key project in bullet train plan

The L.A. Times reports:
Relocation of Highway 99 in Fresno, a key part of the bullet train project, is over budget, behind schedule and will cost millions of dollars more to complete, officials said Monday.

The highway project would move a 2.5-mile stretch of the roadway, the principle commercial artery of the Central Valley, to make room for high-speed rail tracks through Fresno. The project currently is running 15% over budget and has fallen about six months behind schedule.

Work has been held up by litigation over obtaining rights to private property, the same issue that has contributed to a more than a two-year delay in building the first 29 miles of rail in the Central Valley.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is planning Tuesday to seek a $35-million increase in state funding from the original $226 million, which was granted to Caltrans in 2013. State Department of Transportation documents indicate that the full amount needed is $50 million, but the agency would seek to find $15 million in cost reductions by narrowing the scope of the project.

“The scope reductions are items that we look at to save money on a project, such as using asphalt versus concrete, taking a look at aesthetics, etc.,” said Caltrans spokesman Matt Rocco.<
/blockquote>The scam continues.