PRESS RELEASE: High-Speed ​​Rail Board Completes Environmental Impact Assessment to Link Silicon Valley and Central Valley – Advice Eating

April 28, 2022

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA. – The Board of Directors of the California High-Speed ​​Rail Authority (Authority) today endorsed the final Environmental Impact Report/Statement (EIR/EIS) and unanimously approved the approximately 90-mile project section from San Jose to Merced in Northern California. This action completes the environmental clearance for nearly 400 miles of the 500-mile Phase 1 route of the San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim high-speed rail project – including a contiguous line between Merced and Palmdale and the clearance of the Burbank to Los Angeles section in January.

The Board’s actions mark the first environmental document certification of a segment of the project in the Northern California region and the first in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Today’s approval marks another important milestone and brings us one step closer to delivering a high-speed rail link between Silicon Valley and the Central Valley,” said Brian Kelly, CEO of the agency. “The agency is poised to make the vision of a high-speed rail in the Bay Area a reality. We look forward to continuing to work with our federal, state and local partners to advance the project in Northern California.”

This phase of the project will connect the existing Central Valley structure to San Jose’s Diridon Station, reducing travel times and improving mobility in both regions. The high-speed rail system will make the journey from Fresno to San Jose in just one hour, compared to three hours by car today.

“Like all of us in the City of San Jose, I am grateful for the extraordinary work that now culminates in this environmental document that reflects thousands of hours of stakeholder outreach and a tremendous amount of environmental analysis,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “The completion of this critically important high-speed rail project will help the state expand economic opportunity and affordable housing, two important goals for all of us.”

Board certification of the San Jose to Merced Final EIR/EIS and approval of the phase of the project is a key milestone, bringing the phase of the project closer to “shovel-ready” when pre-construction and construction financing becomes available.

The Authority’s Board of Directors selected Alternative 4 as the approved project orientation from among the four orientation alternatives examined. This alternative modernizes and electrifies the existing rail corridor between San Jose and Gilroy, allowing for both high-speed rail and Caltrain connections.

“Gilroy will be the second most important transit hub on this route, next to San Jose,” said Marie Blankley, Mayor of Gilroy. “The Gilroy Transit Center is very well prepared for this to happen.”

East of Gilroy, the alignment includes more than 15 miles of tunnels through Pacheco Pass in the Diablo Range. The Board will review certification for the final environmental document for the San Francisco to San Jose portion of the project this summer.

The final EIR/EIS and the Board’s certification and approval decisions can be found on the agency’s website: www.hsr.ca.gov.

This approval was just one of several actions taken by the board during the two-day board meeting. During the session they also have:

  • Unanimously approved design progression of the four Central Valley railroad stations (Merced, Fresno, Kings-Tulare and Bakersfield).
  • Unanimous approval of a multi-million dollar financing and planning agreement with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (LA Metro) to modernize historic LA Union Station through the Link Union Station (Link US) project. Union Station will be a key connecting hub for California’s future high-speed rail service in the LA Basin.
  • Approval of the 2022 business plan.

The California high-speed line is currently under construction at 35 active construction sites along 119 miles of the Central Valley. To date, more than 7,500 construction jobs have been created since construction began. More information about the construction can be found at: www.buildhsr.com.

The following link contains the latest videos, animations, photographs, press center resources and the latest renderings: https://hsra.box.com/s/vyvjv9hckwl1dk603ju15u07fdfir2q8. These files are all freely available, courtesy of the California High-Speed ​​Rail Authority.

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