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State audit says unsound decision making added billions to bullet train cost




Construction of the Muscat Avenue Viaduct seen west of State Route 99, just east of Cedar Avenue on July 13, 2017 in Fresno, California.
Construction of the Muscat Avenue Viaduct seen west of State Route 99, just east of Cedar Avenue on July 13, 2017 in Fresno, California.
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The California High Speed Rail Authority’s decision to start construction on the bullet train in Central Valley ahead of finalizing its plans and obtaining land has led to $600 million in cost overrun, according to a report published Thursday by State Auditor Elaine Howle.

We get the latest on the audit, as well as what it means for the future of the bullet train in California.

We have reached out to the High Speed Rail Authority but they declined our request for an interview. We have also reached out the California State Auditor’s Office, but they could not provide someone in time for the interview.

Guests:

Ralph Vartabedian, national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, covering bullet trains and auto safety issues, who has been following the story; he tweets @RVartabedian

James Moore, professor of industrial, systems and civil engineering and director of the Transportation Engineering Program at USC