High-speed rail officials seek federal funds


By Bay City News Service

The California High-Speed Rail Authority announced Friday that it will request up to $1 billion in federal funding for the state's $45 billion rail project in an application to be submitted this week.

In January, California's high-speed rail project received a one-time grant of $2.25 billion, which represented the largest share of $8 billion in federal stimulus money to develop a nationwide network of high-speed trains.

Applications are due Friday, Aug. 6, for this round of funding, during which the U.S. Department of Transportation will dole out an additional $2.3 billion to state projects.

The funds would support sections of the 800-mile network that were already awarded stimulus funding, including Merced to Fresno; Fresno to Bakersfield; Los Angeles to Anaheim; and San Francisco to San Jose.

The authority said it plans to use the additional funds to help complete engineering work not covered by the January grant.

Along the San Francisco to San Jose corridor, the funds would pay for track electrification and construction of a station in Millbrae.

The funding request followed a trip this week by authority chairman Curt Pringle and CEO Roelof van Ark to Washington, D.C., where they met with federal transportation officials and Congressional leaders.

Pringle and van Ark arrived in the capital armed with the results of a recent survey they said demonstrated a majority of state residents support the project despite concerns with design delays and cost increases.

"This is another opportunity to bring federal dollars to California to help build the largest infrastructure project in the country," Pringle said in a prepared statement.

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