Ground Broken on High Speed Rail; Construction is Underway!

January 7, 2015 - Construction of California’s High Speed Rail system is officially underway, following a groundbreaking ceremony in Fresno on January 6, attended by Governor Jerry Brown, State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter and many other community, transportation and business leaders, and many representatives of our trades.

The $68 billion project is being built under a statewide project labor agreement with the Building Trades, by our well-trained highly skilled workers. It will revolutionize transportation in California, carrying people between Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than three hours, and then eventually link to San Diego and Sacramento as well.

The ceremony generated widespread media coverage throughout California and across the nation. The New York Times included a picture of Governor Brown, President Hunter and others ceremonially signing a section of track. TheLos Angeles Times reported: Robbie Hunter, director of the state’s council of building trades unions, said in a speech that the event marked the start of the “greatest infrastructure project, not only in the history of California, but the nation.” Hunter said the project would create 66,000 jobs annually over the next 16 years and would be ‘built once, built right, in the least amount of time and at the lowest bid.

High Speed Rail Chairman Dan Richard acknowledged the Trades’ extensive participation in moving this project forward. He said the ceremony commenced a period of sustained construction on the nation’s first high-speed rail system, for the next five years in the Central Valley and for a decade after that across California.

Governor Brown noted that the project’s cost, compared with the dire consequences of doing nothing, is reasonable. "It's not that expensive. We can afford it. In fact, we can not not afford it, as we look at building a future that really works."

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