California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has unveiled a new business plan for its proposed high-speed rail project, which will cost $98.5bn – more than double the initial estimate of $43bn in 2008.
The authority said the rise in cost is due to the project’s extended construction schedules and possible future inflation at an average of 3% a year.
According to the earlier estimate, the project was planned to be completed by 2020, but according to the new business plan the project will be completed by 2033.
Construction will begin in 2012 on a $5.2bn, 130-mile stretch from Fresno to Bakersfield, scheduled for completion by 2017, while the next phase of work will be carried out either in the southern part of the state, from Merced to Palmdale, or in the north, from Bakersfield to San Jose.
The high-speed line is planned to be extended to Sacramento and San Diego.
The new business plan will be available for public comment for 60 days to devise the final plan, which will be completed and provided to the legislature in January 2012.