Seven years ago the voters approved a $9.9 billion bond to build a high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The overall cost was projected to be $33 billion. So far, a little over 100 miles of right-of-way has been built in and around the Fresno area, but now the projected cost has ballooned to a staggering $68 billion.
A high-speed rail meeting was held in Tehachapi on Sept. 5. I was told that to bore just two train tunnels through the hills east of Tehachapi, and into the desert toward Lancaster, would cost $17 billion.
You'd think politicians would stop funding this albatross of a project seeing as how our highways are in deplorable condition, but like Governor Moonbeam and his cronies, they choose to blindly build this monstrosity of a project rather than provide funding to repair our roads and stop near gridlock freeway conditions. Politicians no doubt fly to wherever they need to go, and don't have to deal with driving conditions that us peons have to endure.
Why not give us a meager $250 million from this HSR project, and we'll hire a contractor to build a worthwhile project like a third eastbound truck lane from General Beale Road all the way to Tehachapi. People are telling me they won't drive to Bakersfield anymore because it's stressful when trucks cut off motorists to leapfrog ahead of other trucks.
Highway 58 has become the busiest east/west truck corridor in California. Throwing bazillions of dollars at a so-called bullet train that will only highball down the track at 129 miles an hour, with a projected arrival time between L.A. and San Francisco around 2.5 hours, has made this slow speed rail project obsolete even it's ever built.
Planners for this HSR should have laid out the line from L.A. to San Francisco along the coast to avoid the Tehachapis, the San Gabriel and Coast Ranges. Travel time and costs would have been significantly reduced, even if property acquisition along the coast would have cost more.
Now it's time to highball this train straight to the ash heap; not later but RIGHT NOW!
Dennis Tope, Tehachapi