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 NewsomHow long will it take to conquer the coronavirus — and what sort of society will it leave behind? We'll need entrepreneurship and flexibility in the post-COVID economy Let's put 'Reaganomics' to rest 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 TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill 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."