Tuesday July 25th 2017

California High Speed Rail Project Moving Forward

ANAHEIM Calif. (FNP) – Two court rulings were made last week the helped pave the way for work to begin on the California High Speed Rail project.

The project, which is being funded by a bond initiative authorized by the passage of passage of Proposition 1A in 2008, will provide a high-speed rail system from San Francisco to Anaheim with lines from Sacramento and San Diego eventually. The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) wanted to break ground on the Fresno to Bakersfield segment next year but two issues were hampering their progress.

The first issue involved environmental reports. The High-Speed Rail Authority Chair, Thomas J. Umberg called the rulings a victory. “I’m pleased that the Court rejected claims that the Authority’s revised program EIR (environmental impact report) was a mere post-hoc rationalization,” Umberg said.

The other road block was the alternative routes. The court ruled in favor of the authority’s route decision. “Most importantly (the court) found that our alternatives analysis complies with CEQA,” Umberg added. “That is a big step forward.”

On Friday a rail watchdog group, the Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design, said that the HSRA is moving ahead too quick. They said the authority failed to comply with a state law mandating that they first complete all necessary project level environmental clearances.

Earlier this month the rail authority revised their business plan, changing their estimated cost for completion from $43 billion to $98.5 billion (2033 dollars).

With these legal hurdles completed, the agency hopes to begin construction in September 2012.

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