H-NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Jan 19, 2013 3:18 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

State engineers question high-speed rail oversight

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A union that represents state engineers is questioning whether the construction work on the first leg of California's $68 billion high-speed rail line will undergo enough scrutiny.

Plans for the first 30-mile segment of the rail line in the Central Valley call for the independent contractor that will design and build it to also hire the inspectors who test it. The inspectors will report to the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

The executive director of Professional Engineers in California Government, Bruce Blanning, says high-speed rail needs independent inspectors there when the concrete is poured. His union represents 13,000 state engineers.

High-speed rail CEO Jeff Morales says the inspections are the norm for major construction projects and said the idea that the agency would compromise safety is "insulting and flat-out wrong."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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