California high speed map

The proposed route of the California High Speed Rail network

California’s planned high-speed rail project will undergo an official audit as the cost of one section of the project has increased by $3 billion.

The audit – which could take up to nine months – will examine whether the project is likely to finish on schedule and what the final cost is likely to be.

“What we are all trying to do is to get past all of the noise, to get past all of the politics, to get down into a thorough audit that is going to give us a very good heads up as to what is coming and what has happened,” said Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno.

The cost of building the high-speed rail link from Los Angeles to San Francisco is now estimated to cost more than $65 billion, up substantially from a decade ago.

Earlier in January, the project’s board announced a $3 billion rise in the costs for a segment of track in the Central Valley, the project’s first phase.

A segment from San Francisco to Bakersfield is slated to be open by 2025, with the tracks to Los Angeles open by 2029, but that timeline could face delays.

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