Officials say it will be a "few months" more before construction begins, but no formal groundbreaking ceremony has been set. Officials also note initial preparation work, including surveying and soil testing, began in August.
CHSRA says it has the required permits and acquired land to begin construction of the first 29-mile section, linking Fresno and Madera, Calif. But local media report the project contractor seeks to proceed on several miles of the route all at once.
"We could be out there this week if we wanted to just knock down one building," said CHSRA CEO Jeff Morales. But "that doesn't make economic sense."