Senate Approves Bill to Extend the Life of High-Speed Train Panel

TIMES URBAN AFFAIRS WRITER

Legislation to extend the life of the California-Nevada High Speed Ground Transportation Commission was sent by the state Senate to the governor on Friday.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Garden Grove), also makes the proposed 23-mile, six-city elevated urban rail project in Orange County eligible for Proposition 108 rail-bond money.

Without the legislation, the high-speed train panel's authority would have expired on Dec. 31 with years of work remaining on the planned $5-billion, magnetically levitated train line between Anaheim and Las Vegas.

Bechtel Corp., which holds the conditional franchise for the train, earlier this year pushed back planned construction for five years because of a sluggish world economy and a decision by Japanese investors to abandon the project.

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