Taxpayers could be reaching into their pockets again to make the high speed rail project a reality.
The HSR authority released a 212 page update on the project, in it it states the cost of building 119 section, traveling through the Central Valley would increase by $1.8 billion. The project now equaling more than $12 billion from Madera to Shafter to complete.
The report states the increase in cost is for, viaducts, trenches, bridges, and roadbeds along the Central Valley.
Former Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea is not phased by the extra cost.
Perea said Californians need more options when it comes to transportation, he understands people won’t be happy with the cost but bottom line the project has to get done.
Part of Daniel Riley’s property was taken by the state to build the high speed rail, but so far it has been left untouched and unkept.
“We’re afraid of a fire hazard, I don’t want my place to burn down so we’re having to maintain the property, mow it and take care of it ourselves out of our expense not only for the fire hazard but it just looks terrible,” Riley said.
For Riley, he hopes state lawmakers will start listening to the people directly impacted.
“Stop. Stop wasting our money. The amount of money they spend on this train, we’ve could have done so many more things,” he said.
The HSR authority stated in the report that the Central Valley project should be completed by 2022.
The entire project will cost taxpayer $20 billion.
Statement from Assemblyman Jim Patterson
“This report and this project is nothing more than a shell game. The Chief Operating Officer of the project is on the record saying the tracks from Merced to Bakersfield will be slow speed trains on “plain rail.” Today they are promising it will be high-speed. They continue to make it up as they go along and I don’t trust the High Speed Rail Authority any more.
“This report says the goal is to move Amtrak onto the high-speed rail track and let them operate it with a whole lot of government subsidy in an effort get around the Prop 1A bond language. They have no other options because they know perfectly well they will need subsidies to operate but the bond language is very clear that this is forbidden.
“It’s time for the Governor to halt any more funding for this project. The bottom line is this project is running out of money and they know it. Between now and whenever that last dollar is spent, they will continue to make up fantasies in an attempt to fool us all.”