Proving again just how big a challenge the state faces in building a $99 billion high-speed train project, the Central Valley county where the railroad construction is to start sued to block the plan Monday.
Kings County says California can't legally spend $2.7 billion in voter-approved state bond funds to start building the bullet train line in their rural district, arguing it's not the same project voters approved in 2008. Since then, the cost has tripled and funding sources have dried to such an extent that the state can only afford to build an initial stretch of track so small that it won't support any service.
The board of supervisors for the small county between Fresno and Bakersfield and two community activists hired a Peninsula attorney to file the suit in hopes of preventing California leaders from starting construction on the bullet train line next year.
The 10-page suit filed in Sacramento is the latest legal challenge from angry communities, led by the Peninsula, that want to stop the project. The cities fear the elevated rail line will destroy properties along its path, lower home and business values, divide the community and create blight. The state's main problem is finding the 90 percent of funding still needed to build the full line between the Bay Area and Southern California, but the community opposition has slowed down the planning and threatened to increase project costs, delay the plan or even kill it.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority did not immediately comment on the lawsuit Monday.
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