Second high-speed rail segment in Calif. waiting to be cleared

Written by RT&S Staff
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The California High-Speed Rail Authority released the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIR/EIS) for the approximately 14-mile Burbank-to-Los Angeles Project Section in southern California, moving the Authority one step closer to approving its fourth environmental document in two years.

The document will be presented to the Authority’s Board of Directors for consideration during a two-day board meeting Jan. 19 and 20, in conjunction with considering approval of the Burbank-to-Los Angeles Project Section preferred alternative.

If approved, the Burbank-to-Los Angeles Project Section will be the second high-speed rail segment in southern California to be environmentally cleared, and it will be the first in the Los Angeles Basin. This milestone moves the project section closer to being “shovel ready” for when preconstruction and construction funding become available.

“Today’s release of the environmental document underscores the statewide nature of this project. While we advance construction in the Central Valley, we continue our march to environmentally clear all 500 miles between San Francisco and the Los Angeles/Anaheim area,” said Authority CEO Brian Kelly. “This Los Angeles rail corridor will connect the Hollywood Burbank Airport and Los Angeles Union Station – two key multimodal transportation hubs – providing future passengers clean, electrified high-speed rail infrastructure that will deliver sustainable, reliable and accessible transportation for generations to come.”

In May 2020, the Authority released the Draft EIR/EIS for public review. The Authority serves as lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Authority has since responded to comments received during the public review period, and these responses are documented in the Final EIR/EIS. The Burbank-to-Los Angeles Project Section proposes to connect the high-speed rail system from a new Hollywood Burbank Airport Station to the existing Los Angeles Union Station, key multimodal hubs for southern California.

The proposed HSR Build Alternative in this project section will use existing railroad right-of-way adjacent to the Los Angeles River, through the cities of Burbank, Glendale and Los Angeles, and will decrease rail congestion and increase mobility in the corridor.

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