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Cost of California high-speed rail project climbs another $5 billion, total now exceeds $100 billion

Increase due in part to minimizing disruptions.
High Speed Rail open house in Wasco
Posted at 3:13 PM, Feb 09, 2022

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — The cost of building the California High-Speed Rail is increasing once again and this time it's not due to inflation.

A business plan released Tuesday puts estimates at just over $100 billion to complete the train between Los Angeles and San Francisco. That cost is up to $5 billion more than the 2020 plan.

Officials say the increase is due in part to new commitments aimed at minimizing disruptions. The CEO is hopeful the state will get billions more for the project through the new infrastructure bill.

According to a statement released by the California High-Speed Rail Authority: "The plan highlights how new state and federal funding would enable the Authority to further advance the program statewide, such as making capital investments to improve mobility and connect high-speed rail with existing passenger rail and transit services. It also updates the Authority’s budget and capital cost estimates for segments with recently approved environmental documents to account for numerous mitigation measures to address community concerns."

By the middle of this year, the authority expects to have cleared 422 miles with decisions made on the two Northern California sections between San Francisco and Merced. The Palmdale to Burbank and Los Angeles to Anaheim sections will move forward in 2023.

"High-speed rail continues to be an economic engine for the state, creating over 7,300 construction jobs in the Central Valley and partnering with more than 650 small businesses since the start of construction," said the statement. "Nearly 300 of the 500-mile Phase 1 System from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim has also been environmentally cleared– including a contiguous stretch between Merced and Palmdale plus last month’s clearance of the Burbank to Los Angeles section."

You can read the full business plan on the California High-Speed Rail Authority website.