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Even scaled-back California bullet train could fall up to $3 billion short

from Construction DIVE

Even the scaled-down version of the bullet train that California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently proposed could come up $1 billion to $3 billion short, a Los Angeles Times analysis suggests. California High-Speed Rail Authority will reportedly have to try to tap into additional sources of revenue. Original plans for a Los Angeles-to-San Francisco line were estimated to cost as much as $77 billion. The rail authority expects the revised Central Valley Bakersfield-to-Merced route, where $10.7 billion of work is already underway, to cost about $16 billion to $18 billion, the Times reported, but only $15 billion is currently available through 2023. The authority has potentially underestimated the cost to electrify tracks, with an estimate that is reportedly six times less than that of a similar project. Additional red flags, according to the Times, include an aggressive spending schedule despite uncertain revenue; potential legislative holdups in trying to borrow against future cap-and-trade income; and potential land acquisition delays, given the roughly 200 eminent domain actions that are still outstanding. more

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