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Government & Politics

Asm. Jim Patterson Calls For High-Speed Rail Authority To Pursue "Plan B"

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CA High-Speed Rail Authority / Office of Asm. Jim Patterson
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At left: construction is underway on a crossing over the San Joaquin River near Fresno. Right: Fresno Assemblymember Jim Patterson has called for an audit of the project.

For the first time since 2012, the state legislature is giving the California High-Speed Rail Authority a thorough audit. This comes just weeks after the agency’s top consultant revealed that the project’s Central Valley section is now nearly $3 billion over budget due to delays and additional design expenses. The audit comes at the request of Assemblymember Jim Patterson. The Fresno Republican has been one of the rail authority’s staunchest critics for years. Now he's asking state leaders to consider a “Plan B” for the ambitious but troubled project. That could be a scaled back rail line that only connects the San Joaquin Valley to San Jose, or a system that uses conventional Amtrak trains on the new high-speed right of way. Patterson recently spoke with Valley Public Radio about what he hopes to accomplish with the audit and how he sees the project changing. 

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