The US state of California is set to go ahead with the construction of its $68bn bullet train project after the state Supreme Court declined the appeal of a case filed by opponents of the project.
Los Angeles Times reported two Kings County and Central Valley landowners submitted an appeal in September to the Supreme Court questioning the financial plan of Speed Rail Authority.
High-Speed Rail Authority board chairman Dan Richard was quoted by news agencies saying: "The decision reaffirms that the Authority can continue building a modern high-speed rail system that connects the state, creates jobs and complies with the law.
"We will continue to move forward aggressively to deliver the nation’s first high-speed rail system."
The authority has already started the pre-construction activities on a 29-mile stretch between Avenue 17, Madera County to East American Avenue, Fresno County under the first construction package.
This section includes 12 grade separations, two viaducts, one tunnel and a major river crossing over the San Joaquin River.
The contract for the designing and building of the line was awarded to a joint venture, Tutor-Perini/Zachry/Parsons (TPZP).
Work under this package is expected to be completed in 2017.
Construction Package 2-3 aims to extend the line in excess of 60 miles from the terminus of Construction Package 1 at East American Avenue, Fresno, to around one mile north of the Tulare-Kern county line.
Package 2-3 has an estimated value ranging from $1.5bn to $2bn, and will have 36 grade separations in the counties of Fresno, Tulare and Kings.
State governor Jerry Brown said earlier that the bullet train project will produce more jobs and offer an alternative to car and plane travel in the region.
Image: A 130-mile section of high-speed rail track will pass through California’s agricultural heartland. Photo: courtesy of California High-Speed Rail Authority.