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California ‘Bullet Train’ Construction Bogged Down in Water

Construction on what is left of California’s “bullet train” has been halted by flooding in several areas of the Central Valley after recent heavy rains — and more flooding could be on the way with the spring snowmelt.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) canceled the promised San Francisco-to-Los Angeles high-speed train upon taking office because, as he explained to the state legislature, “would cost too much and … would take too long,”

But Newsom wanted to preserve the portion of the project that would connect several rural towns in the Central Valley — though it remains unclear if there is consumer demand for rapid commuter transit between them.

Now, the heavy rainfall of the 2022-23 winter is proving to be another obstacle.

The Fresno Bee reports:

Recent rainstorms that have created flooding in some parts of Kings and Tulare counties have also ground work to a halt at several key construction sites for California’s high-speed rail project.

But while standing water at some locations has prevented work crews from reaching their job sites, the Central Valley director for the Cailfornia High-Speed Rail Authority said it’s the prospects for a lengthy summer run of water in local irrigation canals that present a greater potential disruption to construction later this year.

The rail infrastructure itself is intact, and is reportedly designed to withstand a 100-year flood. But construction will be slow, causing the latest delays in a project that was supposed to have been completed by 2020.

President Donald Trump withheld nearly $1 billion of federal money that taxpayers had allocated to California for the aborted project. But President Joe Biden restored the funding despite the project’s many failures.

 

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