SACRAMENTO-In a nod to the commitment and progress ofCalifornia’s high-speed rail system, the US Department ofTransportation today redirected $624 million in funding for theproject from other states to California. Or perhaps it is a nod toGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent letterto US Secretary of Transportation Raymond LaHood requesting thatother states’ unwanted federal contributions to high-speed railsystems be redirected to California.

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Either way, according to Roelof van Ark, CEO of the CaliforniaHigh-Speed Rail Authority, “This is yet another vote of confidencethat California’s project is on the right track toward creatingtens of thousands of jobs for our state and constructing thenation’s first true high-speed rail system.”

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In Gov. Schwarzenegger’s recent letter, he pointed out that hewas somewhat astonished when he heard of recent announcements from“some of our gubernatorial colleagues that they are uninterested infederal contributions to their high-speed rail systems.” Inresponse to those colleagues, he said, “You are more than welcometo redirect that money to California—where we know how to use it togenerate hundreds of thousands of jobs and provide a clean, fastand low-cost way to travel.”

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The funding is anticipated to further construction in theCentral Valley toward another urban center. Initialconstruction is slated to begin in 2012. The California High-SpeedRail Authority Board this month selected the startingpoint for the project’s Southern California-to-BayArea construction, as GlobeSt.com previously reported.

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The additional Recovery Act funding was redistributed afternearly $1.2 billion was returned from other states. California’sproject has received the most federal funding of any state in thenation, totaling more than $3.1 billion in 2010.

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As GlobeSt.com also previously reported, California has secureda total of $4.3billion to begin construction on the core of thesystem. That includes a recent $715million in federal funding, on top of previouseconomic stimulus funds and state and local matches.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.