A ceremonial groundbreaking for California's $68 billion high speed passenger rail project is scheduled Tuesday in Fresno.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority will host the ceremony with government, transportation, and community leaders, at the site of the first segment of the high-speed line in the Central Valley.

So far, a plant has been demolished and a building is being prepared for demolition at the site.

The state's rail project, estimated to cost a total of $68 billion, has faced several lawsuits, but many of the major legal challenges have been overcome.

Most recently, a lawsuit brought by the city of Bakersfield against the authority regarding the 114-mile second section of track between Fresno and Bakersfield was settled.

The authority announced on Dec. 19 that it has reached an agreement with the city which will result in the dismissal of the California Environmental Quality Act litigation over the Final Environmental Impact Report.

"This agreement represents our shared commitment to continue working together to resolve issues in a constructive manner," Jeff Morales, chief executive officer of the authority, said with the announcement. "Our goal is to maximize the benefits of high-speed rail in Bakersfield and minimize impacts to the community."

Once completed, the rail system would connect the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas with high-speed passenger trains on new tracks.

Funding for the project is supposed to come from state, federal, local and private sources available to the authority at different times based on the development timeline of the system.

State funding will include $8.6 billion of voter-approved general obligation bonds.

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