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California High Speed Rail Authority outlines how it could use stimulus funds

(Progressive Railroading posted the following article on its website on February 18.)

WASHINGTON -- The American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1/S. 1) included a surprising $8 billion for high-speed rail. Now, at least one high-speed rail authority is preparing to stake a funding claim.

Yesterday, the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) issued a statement outlining how it could use at least $2 billion of the funds by the Sept. 30, 2012, deadline, according to the authority. During the next several months, the US. Department of Transportation is expected to issue guidelines on how the grants will be awarded; CHSRA will refine its official application after the guidelines are presented, according to the authority.

Specific projects include grade separations in the Los Angeles-to-Anaheim corridor; street and pedestrian crossing construction in San Bruno; right-of-way purchase and construction grading for a maintenance facility in the Central Valley, as well as two storage facilities in the Bay Area and Los Angeles basin; and design and procurement to electrify the rail system between San Jose and San Francisco, including train controls and commuter vehicles.

"All of these projects will advance the California high-speed rail construction schedule and will have a significantly beneficial effect on California's economy throughout construction and permanently thereafter, creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs," said CHSRA Chairman Quentin Kopp in a prepared statement.

In November, California voters approved a $10 billion bond measure to finance the initial segment of a statewide high-speed rail system.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

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