by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
California governor Jerry Brown’s half-mocking push to win President Donald Trump’s affection for the state’s $10.6 billion-dollar bullet-train failed to mention that the project is projected to cost at least $6 billion more than originally planned, according to a new estimate consultants on the project announced Friday.
The main consultant on the mammoth cross-state project last week said its latest budget woes are the result of a “worst-case scenario,” driven by higher costs for land acquisition, issues in moving utility systems, and the need for safety barriers near freight lines, as well as legal and environmental mitigation for various landowners and stakeholders.
The latest budget setback earned front-page news in most California newspapers over the weekend, but Brown left out the project’s ever-expanding price tag in his Monday letter to Trump.
Brown invited Trump to visit the state’s Central Valley do see the high-speed rail line’s construction during his trip to California, the president’s first since his 2016 campaign. …
… It is unlikely the Trump will swoop in and save Brown’s struggling pet project, despite his campaign pledge to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and complaints about the state of the nation’s bridges, airports, and roads.