Brown appoints head of Seattle tunnel plan to top rail post

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed the head of a $3 billion tunnel project in Seattle to a top post on California's high-speed rail project.

Joseph Hedges of the Washington State Department of Transportation will serve as the project's chief operating officer with compensation of $337,000. Hedges has been leading the Seattle tunnel project that, like rail, has faced delays.

Pamela Mizukami will serve as the chief deputy director for the rail project, to be paid $170,000. She's worked at the California Department of Motor Vehicles since 2010.

The Friday announcement comes after the rail board selected state transportation head Brian Kelly as the project's new chief executive officer.

California's goal is to run a high-speed train from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under three hours by 2029.


This story has been corrected to show Hedges has been hired as chief operating officer, not chief executive officer.

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Photo: Getty Images

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