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CA's high-speed rail gets additional $96M in funding

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The board overseeing California's high-speed rail project has voted to give its largest private contractor another $96 million and two more years to perform architectural and engineering work, but warned that it will exercise rigorous oversight.

Board members on Thursday told contractor Parsons Brinckerhoff that the California High-Speed Rail Authority has beefed up its senior management since the first contract was signed with the company in 2006 and will not act as a rubber-stamp, as critics have charged.

The rail authority has been criticized for relying too heavily on outside contractors.

The board also approved carrying over $24 million in unspent money from the previous $199 million contract with the firm.

The authority's chief executive, Jeff Morales, was a senior vice president at Parsons Brinckerhoff before being hired last June.

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