When the San Jose Mercury reported earlier this week on the delay of the groundbreaking for the state’s high-speed rail project, critics predicted construction of the controversial line — already postponed a year — would be pushed back months as well.
But “it is not quite black and white as people want to make it,” said Lisa Marie Alley, spokeswoman for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. When the Tribune called Wednesday, it was just one of many inquiries Alley received in response to the Mercury article.
“It’s complicated,” she said. “There’s no delay in the status of the project. That’s first and foremost. The party and celebration are still in the planning stages. That doesn’t mean construction won’t start in the next several weeks.”
The joint execution of the $985 million project began Aug. 16, she said, after the authority received “the ‘Go; No go’ sign last July when the legislature approved the money for the project.” Preparatory work — such as hiring, design, obtaining permits, and land surveys — is already under way...