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High-Speed Rail Funding In the Bank

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The California High-Speed Rail Authority announced today that it and the Federal Railroad Administration have signed a financing agreement that obligates $928 million in federal money for the rail project. The agreement means that the federal government cannot rescind the money--$715 million from an October 2010 High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Award and $214 million re-allocated from Florida in May 2011. Rachel Wall, spokesperson for the California High-Speed Rail project, tells us that the agreement means that the federal funding for the Central Valley segment is now completely guaranteed. The press release announcing today's agreement promises that construction will begin in Fresno next fall. This comes just a few days after President Obama signed a transportation funding bill with no money for high-speed rail in it. [Central Valley Business Times]