California’s high-speed rail authority is temporarily getting new leadership.

State transportation officials say Chief Executive Officer Brian Kelly is taking a leave of absence for unexpected health reasons.

Chief Operating Officer Joe Hedges and Chief Deputy Director Pam Mizukami will assume leadership of the project. Both were appointed to their jobs in January by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Hedges previously led a $3 billion tunnel project in Seattle. Mizukami was deputy director of administrative services at the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

California’s high-speed rail project between Los Angeles and San Francisco is projected to cost $77 billion and be completed by 2033. It has faced significant cost overruns and setbacks.

Rail board chairman Dan Richards and state transportation Secretary Brian Annis told rail staff about the leadership change Monday.

Associated Press

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