California to Break Ground on Bullet-Train on Tuesday

After many setbacks, the California High-Speed Rail Authority is set to officially break ground on construction of its statewide bullet-train route on January 6 in Fresno.

Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the site of the future high-speed rail station at 1625 Tulare Street in Fresno.

The announcement of the groundbreaking was made in December, 20 months after the authority awarded the joint venture Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons a $1 billion contract to build the initial link from Madera to Fresno.

Voters approved issuing $10 billion in bonds for the project in 2008. Officials hoped to break ground last summer on what would be the nation's first high-speed rail system but public support has dwindled in recent years as the project's costs have soared.

Tuesday's event is open to invited guests and credentialed media only.

Prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, members of the media will be given a tour highlighting progress being made on the high speed rail program, including a visit to the recently-demolished Del Monte Plant, rail authorities said.

According to the authority, the bullet train will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours by 2029, at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations.

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