Government Issues

Congress hearing to examine California High-Speed Rail Project

Posted on August 6, 2018

California voters first approved a bond measure in 2008 to help finance what was then estimated to be a $33 billion project connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles with high-speed rail service.
CHSRA
California voters first approved a bond measure in 2008 to help finance what was then estimated to be a $33 billion project connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles with high-speed rail service.CHSRA

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, chaired by U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), will hold a field hearing in Sacramento on Thursday, August 9, to review the status and recent changes to the California high-speed rail project, including the most recent modifications to the project’s evolving business plan, which was released in June.

The Subcommittee will receive testimony from the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group, State Senator Andy Vidak, Assemblymember Adam Gray, and the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California.

The multi-billion dollar project is the largest in the federal High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). California voters first approved a bond measure in 2008 to help finance what was then estimated to be a $33 billion project connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles with high-speed rail service. However, the 2018 business plan now estimates Phase 1 of the project to cost between $77 billion and $98 billion: 20% higher than the last estimate included in the 2016 business plan. Furthermore, the project continues to experience schedule delays for environmental reviews and completion of planned segments.

The field hearing, entitled “Continued Oversight of the California High-Speed Rail Project,” is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. (Pacific Time).

Witnesses:

  • The Honorable Calvin L. Scovel III, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.
  • Brian Kelly, CEO, California High-Speed Rail Authority.
  • Louis Thompson, Chairman, California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group.
  • The Honorable Andy Vidak, State Senator, California State Senate.
  • The Honorable Adam Gray, Assemblymember, California State Assembly.
  • Robbie Hunter, President, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California.

More information, including the witnesses’ written testimony, additional issue background information, and live webcast, will be posted here as it becomes available.

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