Train To NoWhere Scam Needs $300 Million MORE—NOW

Hate to say it, “I told you so”.  The $200 billion scam called High Speed Rail is going to cost $200 billion.  The folks behind this have said it is only going to cost $68 billion.  So far the Feds have given $3.2 billion for this—which has to be returned, and a $10 billion bond ($20 billion to repay—on the condition the High Speed Rail Authority matches that amount—in 15 years they have raised ZERO dollars, not a single firm or investor wants to put money into a financial scam meant to destroy communities, kill local revenues, finance special interests and unions—all in an effort to mislead the public and NOT live up to the conditions of the bonds—which makes this fraud.

“Two huge construction firms that are helping to build about 54 miles of bullet train structures in the Central Valley are seeking an additional $300 million on their fixed-price contracts, the Los Angeles Times has learned.

The increases, if the state ultimately agrees to cover them, would further bloat the bill for what has been touted as the easiest and most predictable section of the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco system.

Read that carefully—it is a “fixed price” project, yet the two corporations want an additional $300 million.  What part of fixed price don’t they understand?  Where is the money coming from?  The Feds just stopped close to $700 million going to the CalTrain portion of the scam—Trump knows a scam when he sees one.  End the project, open a criminal investigation and start a Grand Jury.  This may be the biggest government fraud in California history.

high speed rail train

Two construction firms seek an extra $300 million for bullet train work

Ralph Vartabedian, LA Times,  3/3/17

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The potential increases lend credence to the findings of a December risk assessment by the Federal Railroad Administration that costs for building the full 118 miles of work in the Central Valley could jump by 50%, or $3.6 billion, above current estimates.

The increases are described in letters from Tutor Perini Corp. and Dragados USA. The firms make the case that their contracts do not cover the full scope of the work and that the state’s management of the project is causing delays.

A representative for the state rail authority said the agency has not agreed to pay the additional costs to the companies and that the letters do not represent formal claims. It has also sharply disputed the federal estimates, saying the higher projected costs were part of a routine risk assessment of the project and that they do not account for efforts to avoid them.

The potential cost increases come during a difficult political juncture.

Newly empowered Central Valley Republican members of the U.S. House last month asked the Trump administration to conduct a full blown audit of the project’s finances and have successfully held up a related federal grant until they get what they want.

I won’t find myself in the impossible position of having proceeded with major work without agreement. — Ron Tutor, chief executive of Tutor Perini Corp. construction firm

Separately, the state is facing two key lawsuits that could puncture the project’s funding. One disputes its plan to tap bond funds. The second seeks to block funding from the state’s carbon auctions.

The Tutor letter, which lists $228 million in additional costs, reveals friction between the company and the rail authority.

“I won’t find myself in the impossible position of having proceeded with major work without agreement,” the company’s chief executive, Ron Tutor, wrote in the Sept. 26 letter addressed to rail authority CEO Jeff Morales. “It is my opinion that none of these should be controversial … the inability of your job site to do anything to resolve changes on a timely basis is obvious.”

Tutor went on to say that the managers of the project were “trying to figure out ways not to pay us.”

The letter lays out seven separate cost issues, though it does not detail or justify them. The largest item involves the construction of intrusion barriers, which would separate existing Union Pacific and BNSF freight tracks from the future high-speed rail tracks.

Tutor, based in Sylmar, also lists $61.6 million in cost increases for several miles of work in Madera, on a section that was originally supposed to cost $154 million.

Separately Dragado, a Spain-based firm that is teamed with U.S.-based Flatiron, said in an Aug. 23 letter that delays in obtaining land for construction along the rail route could end up costing $100 million to $110 million, though it could accelerate its pace and cut the increase to $60 million to $65 million.

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