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California bullet train delays 'beyond comprehension'

California line may miss 2022 deadline because of delays, says contractor firm in slamming letter to state officials

Beyza Binnur Donmez   | 12.01.2021
California bullet train delays 'beyond comprehension'


A high-speed train project in the state of California could miss a 2022 federal deadline, a contractor warned rail officials in a letter, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Although state officials contend that the bullet train line's construction pace is on target, contractor firm Tutor Perini claimed that several issues have remained unsolved for years, including "rapid turnover of state officials, continuing delays in obtaining land for the rail and the state’s failure to secure agreements with outside parties."

The Jan. 4 letter obtained by the LA Times newspaper said construction teams cannot build on more than 500 parcels in the Fresno area because the California High-Speed Rail Authority yet to issue proper documentation.

"It is beyond comprehension that as of this day, more than two thousand and six hundred calendar days after [official approval to start construction] that the authority has not obtained all of the right of way," wrote Tutor Perini Vice President of Operations Ghassan Ariqat.

The letter said delays and cost overruns are poised to get worse.

The letter, however, is rejected by the rail authority, who said it "attempts to set out why project challenges are everybody else's fault."

"As we do with all contractor claims, our commercial and legal teams will evaluate the letter and provide a full response, including an articulation of where the contractor’s claims are mistaken or otherwise in error," Chief Executive Brian Kelly said in a statement.

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