Audit Finds Rushed Construction In High-Speed Rail Will Cost Millions

Five years ago, California's High Speed Rail Authority decided to begin construction work without completing any plans, or securing any of the land, according to a recently published report. Now they're going to pay for it.

In the report published on Thursday by State Auditor Elaine Howle, their office says that the construction was extremely rushed, and is now costing $600 million just in overruns... But it could cost even more.

The auditor wrote that the costs could increase even more if the construction doesn't speed up its progress.

“The authority’s spending to date and future projections suggest that the risk of such additional cost increases is high,” Howle wrote.

To be exact, it could have to pay up to $3.5 billion back to the federal government if the Central Valley portion is not completed by 2022.

“The authority will need to do more to control the soaring costs of its contracts by improving its contract management,” the auditor wrote.

The High Speed Rail Authority reportedly agreed with the auditor's findings, and promised to "imporve contract oversight."

“We are moving swiftly to fully implement the recommendations of the California State Auditor which will constitute important steps to assure that we effectively deliver the 21st Century high-speed rail system that Californians require as we grow to 50 million people by mid-century,” the authority said.

Voters first approved the $10 billion bond to begin funding the high-speed rail system back in 2008.

More details on The Sacramento Bee.

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