California governor pulls plug on LA-SF high-speed train


One day after Gov. Gavin Newsom made a major announcement on the future of high-speed rail and economic development in the central San Joaquin Valley during his State of the State address, the governor is returning to the Valley to discuss his plans with local mayors. "We will need new ways of looking at old problems, and unprecedented collaboration to meet the challenges ahead". But since $10 billion of bonds were approved by voters more than a decade ago to jumpstart the line, it's been beset by cost overruns, construction delays and lawsuits by property owners and taxpayer groups.

The state got $3.5 billion in federal funding to complete the Merced to Bakersfield line. "The project, as now planned, would cost too much and take too long".

Newsom said the state will complete a high-speed rail link between Merced and Bakersfield. Latest estimates pin the cost at $77 billion and completion in 2033.

The Obama administration awarded the state a total of $3.5 billion in 2010 and California voters in 2008 approved almost $10 billion in bond proceeds.

He's also replacing Brown's head of the state board that oversees the project and pledged more accountability for contractors that run over on costs.

California Governor Gavin Newsom used his first State of the State address Tuesday to drop twin bombshells: He wants to dramatically downsize the $77 billion high-speed rail project and his predecessor's dream of a very big pair of tunnels delivering water under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Constructing a high-speed train between Los Angeles and San Francisco and building two massive water tunnels to remake how the state's water is moved from north to south were among Brown's chief priorities.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority said work will continue of the project but with a focus on the Central Valley project. "This entire thing has now changed from whether or not there's going to be a high-speed rail to what's going to be left for central California".

Newsom, though, said there's been a "gray area" in the troops duties that may have allowed some to inadvertently participate in immigration activities, although a Guard official said the state's troops have not helped detain anyone.

On rail, Newsom said he'll shift the focus to completing just a 171-mile segment of the line already under construction in the state's Central Valley.

"I know the valley". "Because last week, we heard another president stand up at the State of the Union and offer a vision of an America fundamentally at odds with California values". He says he won't preside over "neglect and denial", and says cities must provide their fair share of affordable housing.

In his first State of the State speech Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom wasted no time in criticizing what he called President Trump's "fear-mongering" over the "so-called "border emergency" as a "manufactured crisis" and "political theater". They will work with his administration to develop what he called a comprehensive strategy.

"Taking care of each other, showing courage when it matters most - this is what we do in California", the governor said after recognizing Pierce in the Assembly gallery.