The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) Board of Directors certified the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the Fresno to Bakersfield project section of the high-speed rail program and approved a high-speed rail alignment within the Fresno to Bakersfield project section.
This allows CHSRA to take additional steps toward continuing major work on the project from Fresno to the south. This also includes approval of the preferred alignment from the southern edge of the already-approved Fresno Mariposa Street station to the 7th Standard Road in Kern County northwest of Bakersfield.
“This document represents a culmination of the work done by CHSRA to identify a preferred alignment for the project that is consistent with the parameters of Proposition 1A requirements and extensive input and feedback from members of the community, local and elected officials, a variety of stakeholders and our state and federal partners,” said CHSRA Board Chair Dan Richard. “I know that I have personally, along with my colleagues on the board and staff, spoken with hundreds of people that live and work within this project section. As this process moves forward, we are all committed to and will continue to work with property owners and businesses to ensure that impacts from the high-speed rail project are mitigated and that the project benefits Central Valley residents now and into the future.”
The Fresno to Bakersfield high-speed rail section is approximately 114 miles long from south of the terminus of the Merced to Fresno project section to north of the city of Bakersfield. The preferred alternative is comprised of the BNSF, the Corcoran Bypass alternative, the Allensworth Bypass alternative and the Bakersfield Hybrid alternative. Proposed stations are identified as the Downtown Bakersfield station on Truxtun Avenue, and the East of Hanford/west of Visalia station option located near State Route 198.
The Federal Railroad Administration will consider approving the project and issuing a Record of Decision under the National Environmental Policy Act, anticipated in June 2014.