Rushed construction cost high-speed rail $600 million and delays mount

High speed rail constructionCalifornia’s High Speed Rail Authority is still paying for a costly decision five years ago to begin construction in the Central Valley without securing land and before it had completed key plans, according to a report published on Thursday by State Auditor Elaine Howle.

Howle’s office estimated that the rushed construction contributed to $600 million in cost overruns just for segments in the Central Valley. They may require as much as $1.6 billion more.

The auditor wrote that the project’s finances could worsen if it fails to accelerate its progress. It may have to repay as much as $3.5 billion to the federal government if it does not complete its Central Valley legs by 2022.

“The authority’s spending to date and future projections suggest that the risk of such additional cost increases is high,” Howle wrote. …

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