SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – Plans to bring high speed rail to the state will cost a lot more than expected with a delayed completion time, that according to a new business plan released by the California High Speed Rail Authority.
The new plan puts the cost at $98.5 billion, more than twice the previous estimate of $42.6 billion.
Dan Richard, a board member with the California High Speed Rail Authority, said that along with the new cost estimate, the project’s completion date has also been pushed back.
KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:
“We added a nine-year extension on construction time to try and take in consideration stops and go’s predicated on funding and other issues, which represents $16 billion of inflation costs,” said Richard.
Several Bay Area leaders are on board, including San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.
“I think it’s important to encourage all of our people to look at the big picture, which is about creating jobs and moving people around the state,” said Reed. “How are you going to move 60 million people? You can’t do it with the current infrastructure.”
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said high speed rail would also relieve congestion at San Francisco International Airport, where a third of fights are now to Southern California.
“High speed rail is going to allow our airport to allocate more of its capacity to accommodate long distance and international flights,” said Lee. “They’ll bring in a lot more of the economy to the state of California.”
Republican State Senator Doug LaMalfa of Richvale said that he plans to introduce legislation returning the high speed rail project to the ballot in light of the new plan.
High Speed Rail Authority officials said the route between San Francisco and Anaheim is manageable if it is built in smaller segments.
Construction on the first phase of the project, a 130-mile segment from Bakersfield to Merced, is scheduled to begin next year.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)