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August 10, 2010 > California High-Speed rail seeks new federal funds

California High-Speed rail seeks new federal funds

Submitted By Rachel Wall

Continuing its efforts to secure the necessary long-term federal commitment, the California High-Speed Rail Authority will seek up to $1 billion in a new application for federal funding for the state's high-speed train project to be submitted next week.

The application would bring additional federal support to augment the sections already awarded stimulus funding: Merced to Fresno, Fresno to Bakersfield, Los Angeles to Anaheim and San Francisco to San Jose.

"This is another opportunity to bring federal dollars to California to help build the largest infrastructure project in the country - a project that will create thousands of jobs and enormous opportunities for our economy - and we're determined to take advantage of it," said Authority Chairman Curt Pringle.

The new funding request followed Pringle and Authority CEO Roelof van Ark's meeting in Washing DC during the week ending July 30, 2010 with federal transportation officials and Congressional leaders, upon whom they impressed the need for on-going support for high-speed rail projects.

In January, California's high-speed train project won $2.25 billion, the largest share of federal funding set aside for such projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

For this round of funding, the U.S. Department of Transportation has made $2.3 billion in additional funds available for high-speed and intercity rail projects nationwide. The funds would help complete engineering and other work on the project not covered by the ARRA grants. The Authority's proposed application includes:

Track and signaling work in the Merced to Fresno section, including work to connect the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line to the Amtrak station in Fresno.

Track and signaling work in the Bakersfield to Fresno section, both near Fresno and between Bakersfield and Wasco.

Track and other infrastructure on the Los Angeles to Anaheim section on the west side of the Los Angeles River.

Electrification of the alignment along the San Francisco to San Jose section and construction of a station in Millbrae.

The Authority's application was reviewed on July 30 by the agency's Executive Committee. The Authority will work jointly with Caltrans to submit a single application for the state. The final amount of funding sought will be determined before the application is submitted on August 6, 2010.

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