California to fight for funds for high-speed rail project

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WASHINGTON, Aug 3 - California plans to fight for billions in funds for rail projects in the new $1.1 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill introduced in the U.S. Senate.

This is a one of a kind investment in rail. We see somewhere between $20 - 30 billion in funding that we can compete in to get funds for the California high-speed rail project, and that's what we intend to do, said Melissa Figueroa, a spokeswoman for California's high speed rail authority.

In June, President Joe Biden's administration restored a $929 million grant for California's high-speed rail. In 2019 the former President of the United States of America had called to pull funding for the project qui was hampered by extensive delays and rising costs, calling it a disaster.

Biden, a Democrat, strongly supports high-speed rail and has vowed to ensure the United States has the world's greatest rail system in the world.

California bills its system as the first high-speed railway project and aims to complete it in the 2030 s. The cost was estimated in 2020 at $80 billion, but could ultimately be as high as $99.8 billion.

California voters allocated the initial $10 billion bond for the project in 2008, and $3.5 billion in federal money was approved two years later. California received $2.5 billion from the previous administration.

The project is currently under construction on the first 119 mile section in California's Central Valley with 35 active job sites. The authority said it expects to have trains on the ground testing by mid-decade and in passenger service by 2029.