First bullet train bridge set to rise in Cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia

Los Angeles Times - - THE STATE - By Laura J. Nel­son laura.nel­son@latimes.com

Crews in Cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia have started con­struc­tion on the first vis­i­ble piece of the state’s $68-bil­lion bullet train sys­tem from Los An­ge­les to San Fran­cisco, of­fi­cials said this week.

A viaduct in Madera County that spans the Fresno River is part of the first slate of con­struc­tion projects for the state’s long­planned bullet train, which has faced years of po­lit­i­cal, le­gal and fund­ing chal­lenges.

The 29-mile con­struc­tion zone from Madera to down­town Fresno will see two other viaducts and a dozen grade sep­a­ra­tions.

The lead con­trac­tor is Tu­tor Perini. The Cal­i­for­nia High-Speed Rail Au­thor­ity has not yet se­lected a con- trac­tor to lay track and build elec­tri­cal sys­tems for the route.

Gov. Jerry Brown broke ground on the first phase of the bullet train six months ago. Of­fi­cials say that once the full sys­tem is built, the trip from San Fran­cisco to Los An­ge­les would take about 21⁄ hours.

Although con­struc­tion has be­gun, the high-speed rail sys­tem still faces fund­ing chal­lenges: The pro­ject has roughly $26 bil­lion in po­ten­tial state and fed­eral money over the next 14 years, about half the amount needed to com­plete the 500mile route.

Cal­i­for­nia High-Speed Rail Au­thor­ity EPA

WHEN COM­PLETED, a bullet train is ex­pected to travel from San Fran­cisco to L.A. in about 21⁄ hours.

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