Engineering work on the first 30-mile leg of California's $68 billion high-speed rail system has started in Fresno, writes Juliet Williams. The project still faces a number of legal and funding questions, but its projected benefits continue to serve as key to its progress, said Jeff Morales, California High-Speed Rail Authority CEO. "By connecting Fresno, Bakersfield and the other cities of the Central Valley to Los Angeles and San Francisco, it just creates more opportunities for people," Morales said. "It creates a whole different sort of economy that'll just raise the Central Valley." Not all agree with those projections.