Construction has not yet begun for California's $68.3 billion high-speed rail project, but nearly $600 million already has been spent on consulting costs, according to a report recently sent to lawmakers by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Contractors have been authorized to move forward on pre-construction activities, but there is no clear schedule for when ground will be broken. The project, which will connect San Francisco and Los Angeles, still needs to clear substantial hurdles, such as the need to get environmental clearances for various sections of the project.

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