Time is running out for high speed rail in California and now the legality of even breaking ground on the project is being questioned.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s plan just cannot get itself off the ground. Time and time again reports come out of some issue that is derailing the project. Most recently a two track “blended approach” plan was approved that would replace the original design of tracks in the Caltrain corridor. This “blended approach” would allow local commuter trains and the high speed train to share rails on the San Francisco Peninsula. The reason for this eleventh hour redesign was to appease residents and officials’ concerns of seizure of private property along the corridor to house an increased number of tracks.
However this redesign has sparked greater concern – concern that has now generated a lawsuit. Critics claim that the “blended approach” cannot meet the $10 billion bond measure’s requirement that the high speed train carry passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in two hours and 40 minutes.
The lawsuit claims that due to the recent modifications the project is no longer a “genuine high-speed rail system”. Thus, the California High-Speed Rail Authority is prepared to spend billions of taxpayer dollars for a project built on false promises and on a project that has been significantly changed without the consent of the voters of California.
Even with the lawsuit pending The California High Speed Rail Authority has chosen the Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons joint venture as the winning bid for initial construction on the first 28-mile segment of the line in California’s Central Valley between Madera and Fresno. It should be noted that The Authority still does not own a single parcel of land for right of way along the Fresno-to-Madera route.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison