Rail board members question bullet train budget overruns

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The board overseeing California's bullet train project has approved roughly $50 million in contract amendments to deal with unanticipated construction and environmental review costs.

Several members of the California High-Speed Rail Authority said Tuesday that such budget overruns are damaging the project's public image. But the board is backing the changes.

Of that money, $35 million will come from existing funds to cover unexpected costs for a 32-mile line being built from Madera to Fresno counties. Another $13 million is for environmental work on other segments where construction hasn't started.

The money is coming from other, already-budgeted funds. But board members say it will need to be made up later.

The spending is part of a $64 billion high-speed train project from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Costs have repeatedly increased.

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