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CA HIGH-SPEED RAIL: Lawsuits could delay, kill plans – SF Chronicle

September 19, 2011

High-speed rail: Lawsuits could delay, kill plans

Stephanie Rice, California Watch

Monday, September 19, 2011(page 1 of 2) SINGLE PAGE

Even if state officials can scrape together the billions of dollars needed to fund California’s ambitious high-speed rail plans, lawsuits from cities and opposition groups could delay, divert or derail the project.

In the Bay Area, cities and nonprofits are suing over issues with the route and environmental studies. In Southern California, the city of Palmdale (Los Angeles County) has gone to court over fears that rail officials will abandon a planned Antelope Valley line through the city and reroute the tracks up Interstate 5 instead.

Perhaps the hardest-fought battle is yet to come in the Central Valley, where Kings County officials and residents say they’ll do everything in their power to stop a 100-mile stretch of track from wiping out thousands of acres of prime farmland between Fresno and Bakersfield.

The biggest obstacle facing the beleaguered bullet train is probably its uncertain financial future. But lengthy court battles also could affect the project by delaying construction, increasing costs and altering the course the train takes through the state.

via High-speed rail: Lawsuits could delay, kill plans.

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