More than a thousand supporters of California High Speed Rail filled the barren lot of what is supposed to become a multistory train station in Fresno today for a symbolic groundbreaking.
Nearly two years after construction was supposed to start, and more than six years after voters approved a bond to help fund California high speed rail, state and local leaders met in Fresno’s historic Chinatown today to mark the start of the project’s construction.
January 07, 2015
FRESNO, CALIF. – California broke ground Tuesday on its $68 billion high-speed rail system, promising to combat global warming while whisking travelers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than three hours.
The bullet train project, the first in the nation to get underway, faces challenges from Republican cost-cutters in Congress and Central Valley farmers suing to keep the rails off their fields. Others doubt the state can deliver the sleek system as designed, and worry it will become an expensive failure.
But Gov. Jerry Brown said high-speed rail is essential to meeting his latest goal: Encouraging the nation's most populous state to get half its power from renewable energy by 2030.
"It's not that expensive. We can afford it. In fact, we cannot NOT afford it," Brown said before signing a symbolic section of rail. "All these projects are a little touch and go. You'll have these critics say 'why spend all this money?'"
January 7, 2015
Dozens of protestors were outside Tuesday's High-Speed Rail Groundbreaking holding signs and expressing their anger towards the project, calling on the city to "Stop the Train."
Ten year old Anna Dayton said she already knows what the new high speed rail will mean for her.
"My friends and I are going to have to pay for this when we grow up," Dayton said.
Dozens, including Anna were out protesting Tuesday's groundbreaking, expressing their frustrations over the controversial project.
"I mean if you think about all of the transportation that we already have, all of this money could be going to better causes," protestor Samantha Arteno said.
Some said the High-Speed Rail Authority has already crossed too many boundaries.
"They had to hop the fence. We didn't give them permission. They sawed off the ladder and covered those doors," Protestor with Chinatown Revitalization Kathy
Conflict over union wages could have cost city many millions
January 8, 2014
DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO — State officials confirmed Thursday that San Diego averted a potential financial crisis last fall by declaring that the city can make special wage agreements with labor groups on certain construction projects.
City officials expressed confidence in October that the declaration, approved unanimously by the City Council, would preserve their eligibility for millions in state funding.