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By Paul Rogers

Mercury News

The credit markets are collapsing, the stock market has tanked, and government deficits are sky-high.

Sounds like a terrible time to try to construct one of the largest public works projects in California history: an 800-mile-long, $45 billion network of bullet trains linking the Bay Area and Los Angeles, right?

Wrong, say state planners and backers of the project, still giddy from voter approval last month of Proposition 1A, which provided it a $9.95 billion down payment.

The new tone in Washington, D.C., away from Reaganomics and toward a new version of FDR’s “New Deal,” means there will be billions for public works projects like roads, bridges, airports — and rail, supporters say.