In a surprise to absolutely no one, there are now predictions that the total cost of the first phase of California’s bullet train system will exceed estimates.
The first segment of the first phase, about 29 miles long, is already under construction between Avenue 17 in Madera County and East American Avenue in Fresno County. According to the Los Angeles Times, changes requested after the start of construction by railroads, utilities, and construction companies are adding up. In some cases, the changes increase the cost of a particular task by as much as 30%.
It remains to be seen how these percentage increases will translate into dollars until the Central Valley “backbone” segment of the system is completed. That is expected to cost about $1.8 billion, with $160 million allocated for cost overruns. People contacted by the Times estimate that the overruns are already at $100 million.