High-Speed Rail hits a road block

Posted by TGarland on 01/08/2014

California’s biggest infrastructure project, since the rebuilding of the Bay Bridge, is under political fire. A 520-mile high-speed train line that would travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco is suffering from funding problems after a court ruling questioned the project’s financing.

While many voters are concerned about the project, California rail authority officials believe that with a revised financing plan the project will proceed as scheduled. A project this expansive is bound to run into road blocks, reports Adam Nagourney for the New York Times:

Rod Diridon, a former member of the rail authority who is now the executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute, a California-based research organization, said the obstacles were hardly surprising for a project of this magnitude.

“We’ve talked about the Golden Gate Bridge having 2,300 different lawsuits against it at one time,” Mr. Diridon said. “Big projects tend to have problems. I think it’s going to go. It may not even be delayed.”

The large infrastructure project has the potential to create thousands of jobs for Californians. The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) visited Fresno, CA last June to make the case for using American-made material to build the high speed rail. AAM President Scott Paul highlighted the benefits of using American materials in June:

"You will create 33% more manufacturing jobs in America if you have a Buy America requirement ... than if you don't," he said. On a project like high-speed rail, Paul said, the added cost of using domestic materials amounts "to a fractional, tiny amount of the overall project cost.”

Investing in infrastructure creates jobs for American companies and workers and strengthens our economy. We hope to see this high-speed rail project move forward using American-made materials and workers.

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