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State hasn't bought land for bullet train route

  • FILE - This image provided by the California High Speed Rail Authority shows an artist's rendering of a high-speed train station. As California prepares to embark on its largest public works project in decades, a union that represents state engineers is questioning whether all the construction work will be thoroughly scrutinized. (AP Photo/California High Speed Rail Authority, File)

LOS ANGELES — Construction of California's high-speed rail network is set to start in July, but the state still has not purchased any land along the route.

The Los Angeles Times reports Sunday (http://lat.ms/UtX78H) that purchase offers are expected to be made in the next several weeks.

But experts tell the newspaper that the state faces a convoluted legal process that will drive up prices and giving farmers, businesses and homeowners leverage to delay the project by weeks or months.

One major hurdle could be valuing agricultural land in the Central Valley, where prices have spiked, raising property owners' expectations above what the state expects to pay.

Officials insist they can acquire needed property and begin the project on time.

Construction on the first leg of the $68 billion project is planned for July in near Fresno.


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