Major Challenges for 13.5-mile California Bullet Train Tunnel

California's high speed rail

The LA Times is reporting that the California bullet train project may be facing significant budget and schedule issues, largely because of a 13.5-mile tunnel beneath Pacheco Pass east of Gilroy.  The article reports that the current budget for the  54-mile segment between Gilroy and Chowchilla is $5.5B, but experts that they interviewed for the story put the cost of the twin-bore tunnel itself at between $5.6 to $14.4B.  Geological and geotechnical drilling and testing are currently underway for the tunnel which will be up to 1,000 feet below ground through the challenging Franciscan Complex.  Don’t forget about the challenges of a seismically active area and at least one major fault crossing.  The designers and engineers for that project are going to have their hands full with that one!

Source: A 13.5-mile tunnel will make or break California’s bullet train – LA Times