Board approves Calif high-speed rail construction

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High speed rail

(AP Photo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s High-Speed Rail Authority board has approved a nearly $1 billion contract to start construction on the first leg of the bullet train in the Central Valley.

The board approved a bid from a California-based joint venture at its Thursday meeting in Sacramento after more than an hour of debate.

The bid was the cheapest out of five received by the state, but had the lowest technical rating for safety and design, drawing public scrutiny.

High-speed rail opponents raised questions at the meeting about possible cost overruns and the financial health of the lead company, Tutor Perini.

The authority’s chief counsel told the board there was no reason for concern.

Ron Tutor, chief executive officer of Tutor Perini, told reporters the criticisms are “nonsense” fanned by the media.

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