The board overseeing California's high-speed rail project has voted to give its largest private contractor another $96 million and two more years to perform architectural and engineering work, but warned that it will exercise rigorous oversight.

Board members yesterday told contractor Parsons Brinckerhoff that the California High-Speed Rail Authority has beefed up its senior management since the first contract was signed with the company in 2006 and will not act as a rubber-stamp, as critics have charged.