California High Speed Rail Gets Funds to Continue Engineering Design

$29.1 fills authority's budget request for fiscal year 2008-2009.

by / April 7, 2009

The State Treasurer's Office has made available $29 million to the California High Speed Rail Authority. The authority plans to the use the money to conduct engineering design on the first leg of the project.

The state's High-Speed Rail Finance Committee approved the authority's $29.1 million bond loan request in January, but processing was stalled due to the state's Pooled Money Investment Board's decision to freeze disbursements for this and other projects until the successful sale of General Obligation bonds on March 25.

Following the successful sale of the bonds, the State Treasurer's Office notified the High-Speed Rail Authority and confirmed at a meeting of the Pooled Money Investment Board today that it had issued $29.1 million in commercial paper (short-term loans) to meet the remainder of the Authority's 2008-09 funding authorization.

"Today's confirmation that funding for the project will continue as planned is good news for California's taxpayers who approved Proposition 1A last November to help fund the construction of the high-speed train project and who rightfully expect that progress will be swift and uninterrupted," said Mehdi Morshed, executive director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

"It's also an enormous relief to the dedicated and talented staff and the engineers and planners that continued to work on the project over the past three months without a commitment that they would be paid," said Morshed.

The $29.1 in bond funds will cover engineering design to be conducted in the current fiscal year. Next fiscal year the authority plans to seek about $123 million to complete the engineering design of the San Francisco to Anaheim leg of the system.