It is obvious by now that the high-speed rail construction project will cost taxpayers nearly $80 billion.
Our need in California for water is more acute than ever and there are no real solutions to this problem long term. For less than 10 percent of the cost of high speed rail, we could tunnel through the ridge route and connect both parts of the state by Amtrak, which has the infrastructure already in place.
Amtrak solves many problems of connectivity to many cities north, west, east and south including multiple states. It would help to moderately relieve freeway traffic, without a doubt lessen the burden on the taxpayer from the extreme debt high-speed rail will create. Amtrak is practical.
In addition, the lesser burden of billions of dollars leaves room to aggressively deal with our water issues without further taxation. But in total we resolve several issues, which include job creation long term, affordability of rail travel and convenience of connecting both ends of the state by tunneling through the ridge route, and properly dealing with our water issues.
Mike Der Manouel Sr., Fresno