California Stakes Claim on High-Speed Budget

18 February 2009 (Last Updated February 18th, 2009 18:30)

The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has become the first state to stake its claim on the economic stimulus package announced by the US government. The CHSRA has already outlined how it would use at least $2bn of the funds provided through the American Economic Recovery and

The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has become the first state to stake its claim on the economic stimulus package announced by the US government.

The CHSRA has already outlined how it would use at least $2bn of the funds provided through the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which includes $8bn for high-speed rail.

Specific projects include grade separations in the Los Angeles-to-Anaheim corridor; street and pedestrian crossing construction in San Bruno; and right-of-way purchase and construction grading for a maintenance facility in the Central Valley.

The projects also include 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.

CHSRA Chairman Quentin Kopp said that the authority was eager to begin work on the initial segment of a state-wide high-speed rail system.

"All of these projects will advance the California high-speed rail construction schedule and will have a significantly beneficial effect on California's economy, creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs," he said.

The US Department of transportation is expected to issue guidelines over how grants will be awarded during the next few months. CHSRA will refine its official application after the guidelines are presented.

By Daniel Garrun.