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California's high speed rail project, if built, will cost $98 billion, more than twice as much as previously thought, according to a report obtained by The Bee.

The plan, to be released publicly tomorrow, comes at a critical time for the project, whose management and cost have come under heavy criticism since voters approved $9 billion in rail bonds in 2008.

The report argues that the higher cost is still less than it might cost to build airports, freeways or other infrastructure to accommodate the state's growing population.

The new business plan follows by two months Gov. Jerry Brown's suggestion he could help authority officials "get their act together," and the document represents his administration's influence on the project.

Return to Capitol Alert this evening for more details.

By David Siders


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