SACRAMENTO-Following last week’s announcement that the California High-Speed Rail Authority was awarded $715 million from the federal government, bringing to $4.3 billion the funding secured to begin construction on the core of the system in 2012, as previously reported, federal officials have clarified where the funding will be spent. According to the officials, the entirety of the federal funding California has received so far “must be spent in one of the two Central Valley sections of the project.”

What that news means is that the $4.3-billion in infrastructure investment will be directed somewhere in the region between Merced and Bakersfield. The California High-Speed Rail Authority CEO Roelof van Ark revealed that he received a letter on Wednesday from Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo, outlinings the federal agency’s requirement that all federal funds for the project must be directed to either the Merced-to-Fresno or to the Fresno-to-Bakersfield portion of the project. To read the full letter,

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