This comment was posted to the Orange County Register website report of today's award of the first major contract for CA HSR in the Central Valley to Tutor-Perini-Zachary-Parsons consortium for the stretch from Madera to Bakersfield, CA.
Typical HSR issues in that so many if not most WW HSR projects involve bribery or other corruption. Google HSR and Bribes and Corruption. Seems like nothing new with Calif's HSR, from the pre-selection of SR152 route alignment, secret link with making it (and other CA"Trade corridors" routes) into Toll roads to help fund HSR operating cost (ala Paris-Lyon France HSR). A review of the now-ruled unconstitutional and illegal Nov 2008 Ballot Measure 1A( 3rd Appellate Court Case C060441, 1/28/11) campaign contributors is the who's who of rail project beneficiaries, including member companies of the TPZP consortium and other CA HSRA contracts.. A 2002 SJ Mercury News discusses Rod Diridon Sr's HSR shenanigans while on the Board (now USHSRAssoc Chair and Tax-gigolo funded "Mineta Transportation Institute Exec Director platform). All the ballot numbers were wrong/fraudulent. Even if this is built, the ballot "guarantees" nor intra-venously union-funded Democrats (and a few Repubs--Swearingen) in charge of, or pushing, this blue sky project have any civil or criminal penalty risk at all. Snake Oil at the expense of the taxpayer and govt. integrity. A trip from SF to LA may take 6 hours or whatever, and no one goes to jail. The project is built on fraud. Nevertheless, a recent SF Examiner article revealed the long history of Tutor-Perini cost overruns on many of their projects, with Mr Tutor making the same claims for "quality. Overruns will happen here as well--with no repercussions, just as Parsons Brinkerhoff (a 2008 campaign contributor, like Parsons et al) already got a contract $96 million addition in May 2013. What a waste of tax monies and union labor when they could be so much better for regional transit and highway improvements in:
Southern California (Metrolink, Coaster, Red Line, I-5, SRs 14, 18, 58, 74, 76, 79, 90,138, US395),
Northern California (BART around the Bay, SR152-no tolls, SRs 20, 36, 37 (urgent!), 65, 84, 102, 130, 148, 238 etc) and
Central Valley (I-5 to 6 or 8 lanes from SR99-South to SR99-North or SR138 Grapevine, SRs 43, 46, 48, 58 65(Urgent) (from SR99 to Porterville), 140, 148, 65 (Roseville), 102, I-80, etc).
Until the Calif Republican Party can update its brand and platform to serve the public, especially the Calif.car-loving motoring public/voters, including opposing any more toll roads/lanes (to fund HSR, especially), buying out all existing Toll Roads for all to use, then the CA Democrats can and will get away with all this! Mr. Tweed, Democrat, might have been quite pleased with CA HSR.