The agency in charge of California's high-speed rail project has signed a nearly $1 billion contract to start work on the first 30 miles of track in the Central Valley, just as a judge's order is casting doubt on the project's future.
Dan Richard, chairman of the board that oversees the California High-Speed Rail Authority, tells The Associated Press the contract was signed Friday morning.
Hours later, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled that the agency's funding plan and environmental review did not meet the promises made to voters when they authorized the bullet train in 2008.
The board approved the $985 million deal with a consortium led by Sylmar-based Tutor Perini in June. The contract says the consortium will design and build the bullet train segment running from Madera to Fresno.