Dec 5, 2013 10:58 AM
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Federal regulators have rejected California's request to exempt a route in the Central Valley for what would be the nation's first bullet train from a lengthy planning review.
The three-member Surface Transportation Board's decision Wednesday could force a delay in designing and building a five-mile stretch of the route in Fresno. However, a spokeswoman for the California High-Speed Rail Authority said no delays were anticipated.
The federal board approved the Merced-Fresno portion of the rail line earlier this year and state officials awarded a contract for its first 29-mile construction segment.
A Sacramento County judge last week rejected a request from the rail authority to sell $8 billion in voter-approved bonds.
The $68 billion project would run trains from Los Angeles to San Francisco by about 2028.
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