Court ruling delays issuance of California bullet-train bonds

Feb. 15, 2014 at 1:42 PM

SACRAMENTO, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- A California appeals court has temporarily blocked a judge's ruling that would have derailed the state's ambitious and expensive high-speed railroad project.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal granted a request by the state agency running the so-called bullet train project, to conduct a review of the project in response to a lower-court ruling that effectively blocked the agency from issuing bonds to pay for its construction.

The earlier ruling in Sacramento County Superior Court concluded that the California High-Speed Rail Authority did not have the authority to issue bonds and had not followed proper procedures.

The Los Angeles Times said the appellate court would review the Sacramento judge's decisions.

The high-speed rail project would connect Los Angeles and San Francisco. However, the hefty price tag and the potential disruption to Central California agriculture prompted King County and two area farmers to challenge the project in court.

The bonds would be used to build the first 130 miles of track at a cost estimated at $6 billion, the Times said.

The appeals court ordered the plaintiffs to file briefs stating their case by March 17. The state would then have two weeks to respond.

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