California high speed rail project cost grows to $79 billion

California high speed rail project cost grows to $79 billion
© Getty Images

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 NewsomTrump administration cancels 9M for high-speed rail in California Trump administration moves forward with final rule to allow new California drilling Calif. governor proposes billion to combat homelessness 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 TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' 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."