FRESNO, CA (KMJ) California’s “bullet train” just hit another major speed bump.
On Thursday, the Federal Railroad Administration announced it’s terminating its deal with the state of California to fund the controversial High Speed Rail Project because CHSRA has “repeatedly failed to comply” with terms of the 2010 agreement” the FRA said.
The announcement from the feds will snatch more than $928,000,000 from the project which many have called a “boondoggle” and “train to nowhere”. Construction, however, is expected to continue on the Central Valley portion of the plan – which is supposed to link Bakersfield to Merced.
Longtime critic of the HSR project Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) issued the following statement: “They have torn up central California, destroyed thousands of acres of prime farm land and taken homes and businesses. The question now is, how are they going to put it all back together before they spend all the money they have left and leave town. We are witnessing the beginning of the end.”
Statement of Federal Railroad Administration on Termination of FY ‘10 Grant Agreement with California High-Speed Rail Authority
“After careful consideration, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has terminated Cooperative Agreement No. FR-HSR-0118-12-01-01 (the FY10 Agreement) with the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), and will deobligate the $928,620,000 in funding under that agreement. The decision follows FRA’s Notice of Intent to Terminate and consideration of the information provided by CHSRA on March 4, 2019. FRA finds that CHSRA has repeatedly failed to comply with the terms of the FY10 Agreement and has failed to make reasonable progress on the Project. Additionally, California has abandoned its original vision of a high-speed passenger rail service connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles, which was essential to its applications for FRA grant funding. FRA continues to consider all options regarding the return of $2.5 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds awarded to CHSRA.”
Governor Gavin Newsom:
“The Trump Administration’s action is illegal and a direct assault on California, our green infrastructure, and the thousands of Central Valley workers who are building this project. Just as we have seen from the Trump Administration’s attacks on our clean air standards, our immigrant communities and in countless other areas, the Trump Administration is trying to exact political retribution on our state. This is California’s money, appropriated by Congress, and we will vigorously defend it in court.”
Click to listen to the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern: