From another passage in Cadillac Desert (p 351, I updated the dollar figures to today), on a dud-project known as the Peripheral Canal:
“the correct figure, for capital costs only and accepting official estimates, is certainly in excess of $3 billion.” Three billion dollars in 1959 is over $24 billion today. What state would vote for a $24 billion bond issue today? Not one. Pat Brown knew that very well. That was why he decided to say that the project would cost $1.75 billion – just over half of what he knew, or should have known, the estimate should have been.”
Not that any such thing would be done with High Speed Rail estimates today.