Check out this Mercury News headline
The Federal Railroad Administration is the author of the "confidential" report:
The federal agency is monitoring the California project because it has invested $3.5 billion in the first phase, through the Central Valley. Eventually those tracks will be extended to San Jose, according to the latest plan.
The analysis warned that the Central Valley track, 119 miles from Merced to Shafter, could be 50 percent over budget — and seven years behind schedule, according to the Times. The original budget was $6.4 billion, but costs could reach $10 billion, the Times reported.
This should not be a surprise to anyone given what is known about such projects (see Part 113 and Part 88). For me, the real kicker -or is it a kick in the taxpayers' teeth- is "labeled a 'confidential-draft deliberative document for internal use only". Any why, exactly, it that the case? This is one public agency supposedly auditing and making some predictions about the performance of another public agency. As far as I can see it does not address any forthcoming contract details nor does it make any individual personnel comments. So why is it confidential?
Lastly, can we just dispense with the fiction that this boondoggle will come in at $69 billion or even $96 billion? This is a 12 figure boondoggle for sure.