The California High Speed Rail Authority says that the California High-Speed Rail Project will cost at least $77.3 billion — roughly $13 billion more than planners anticipated.
In a report about the project’s finances and timeline, the authority estimated costs for each leg of construction could be anywhere from 20 to 35 percent more than projected in 2016, The Mercury News reported.
In addition, the report acknowledged many unknowns about the most risky segments of the project, including the creation of some 45 to 50 miles of tunnels that are both complicated and costly to engineer, as well uncertainty over whether the authority will secure enough funding to extend the first Central Valley segment into Southern California, the publication reported.
The high-speed rail will connect the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands.
By 2029, the system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour. It will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. In addition, the authority is working with regional partners to implement a state-wide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs.