half-fast train to nowhere
From nowhere. BTNIN.
In what amounts to the highest profile political pressure that the Obama administration has applied on the state so far, [small>"so far" being the operative term. also, "that we've seen"] [Transportation Secretary Ray my French Cuffs prove I'm not a thug] LaHood met with Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles), among others.
“What I have been reading about is they are planning on holding hearings, that they are going to go throughout summer. That doesn’t suit us,” LaHood said at a news conference after the meetings.
soup train $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for YOU!!!
“They are telling us what to do but they are offering us nothing,” [State Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), chairman of a select committee on high-speed rail]
saidwhinged. “There is not enough federal support.”
So you, the chairman of the Congressional committee — yanno, Congress, the holders of the purse strings — are whinging to US you have less power than the Transportation Secretary.
The bullet train track through the Central Valley would cost $6 billion and have to be completed by September 2017, or else potentially lose some of its federal funding. …spending as much as $3.5 million every calendar day, holidays and weekends included… [called a "burn rate"]
Over four years, the California High-Speed Rail Authority would need as many as 120 permits, mostly from a tangle of government regulatory agencies not known to rush their business. It would need to acquire about 1,100 parcels of land, many from powerful agriculture interests that have already threatened to sue. And it would need to assemble five teams of contractors with giant workforces positioned from Fresno to Bakersfield, moving millions of tons of gravel, steel rail and heavy equipment across the valley.
[what's the carbon footprint of *that*?!?]
Wait…. what happened to “Corcran to Borden”?!?*
the $6.5-billion Bay Bridge will have an average spending or “burn rate” of $1.8 million per day … The Alameda Corridor also had a similar $1.8 million per day burn rate…
So roads and bridges cost less….
Mark Ashley, a senior vice president with the rail authority’s consultant T.Y. Lin International Group, noted that the project has identified 25 issues in the Merced-to-Bakersfield construction plan as high risk or very high risk and that the project is now nine months behind schedule in securing official approval from the Federal Railroad Administration.
Isn’t that a Transportation Secretary department?
One strategy of the rail authority is to shift the schedule and cost risk to the contractors. Under its contract terms, builders would face $1 million per day in penalties for failure to meet final deadlines after March 1, 2017. That is the highest penalty rate known to exist in the U.S.
…The contractors will have to spend more than $8 million on engineering work by the time they submit bids in September, of which only $2 million will be compensated by the rail authority…
Yet the Legislature recently decided to delay a decision to provide the state’s share of initial construction money until August,…
What could possibly go worng?
….only not so fast as Germany, in 1903, 12-wheel all-electric train between Marienfeld and Berlin: 126 mph
But a number of key California senators are skeptical about the entire strategy of starting construction in the Central Valley.
“It is a big enough problem for me to vote no, as of right now,” said Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.
Well, there’s a candle of hope in the darkness…
Tax collections have run $3.5 billion below what [Gov Moonbeam Brown] calculated four months ago. Spending has grown $2 billion above projections. The federal government and court ruling blocked some savings he expected, while his fellow Democrats in the Legislature balked at others. [for a grant total of] the gap has widened to $16 billion
*candle blown out*