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Central Valley high-speed rail construction gets $715 million federal boost

A $715 million grant for high speed rail construction in the San Joaquin Valley was announced today by Congressman Dennis Cardoza. The High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail grant is providing funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Railroad Administration.

The funding will go toward beginning construction on the state's high-speed rail system between Merced and Bakersfield. The rail system is expected to generate more than 135,000 full-time one-year jobs during its construction.

"I am grateful that these funds are being allocated to the San Joaquin Valley and am pleased to see all of our hard work and advocacy bearing tangible results. There is no region more deserving of the jobs and the economic stimulus that will accompany this project," Cardoza said in a press release.

The grant supplements additional funding California has already received for high speed rail development. The state was awarded $2.34 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Additionally, voters approved $9 billion in state bonds in 2008.