California high speed rail project cost grows to $79 billion

California high speed rail project cost grows to $79 billion
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The estimated cost of California's high-speed rail project grew to $79 billion on Wednesday, according to a new High-Speed Rail Authority report.

The segment already under construction in the Central Valley is now expected to cost $12.4 billion, up from $10.6 billion.

The cost increase is likely to embolden the Trump administration's efforts to cancel federal grants for the project.

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The state agency attributed the $2 billion price hike to changes in the scope and planning for contingencies.

California's high-speed rail system was initially designed to connect the metropolitan centers of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Christopher NewsomNew York bans discrimination against natural hair California lawmakers pass bill requiring Trump, presidential hopefuls release tax returns to appear on ballot Democratic governors: Exclusion of census citizenship question doesn't mean an end to 'confusion or anxiety' MORE (D) said in February that the rail line as planned “would cost too much and take too long," pivoting focus to completing the Central Valley segment.

The agency’s report said the line connecting Merced, Fresno and Bakersfield would be completed by the end of 2028.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE has lashed out at California for the project, invoking its funds in his push for money to construct a wall along the southern border.

Newsom pushed back, saying "this is CA’s money, allocated by Congress for this project. We’re not giving it back."