By Mary Slosson
SACRAMENTO | Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:43pm EST
(Reuters) - A judge on Friday denied a legal bid by farmers seeking to stall construction of the initial segment of California's $68 billion high-speed rail project in the state's agricultural heartland.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley denied a preliminary injunction motion filed by farmers who said they would be adversely affected by construction of the ambitious rail project.
"The judge's decision ensures that we can continue to move forward with our preparatory work to build the first segment of high-speed rail in the Central Valley," the chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority's board of directors, Dan Richard, said in a statement.
Construction of the initial segment is expected to begin in the summer of 2013, Richard added.