The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) in the US has green lighted the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for a key section of the high-speed project.
The approval for the 14-mile Burbank to Los Angeles project section removes hurdles for full California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) clearance of nearly 300 miles of the project’s 500-mile Phase I alignment from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim.
CHSRA CEO Brian Kelly said: “Today’s approval represents a historic milestone and brings us closer to providing the first high-speed rail system in the US.
“We appreciate the continued support and collaboration with local and regional agencies and stakeholders as we work together to improve transportation in California.”
The high-speed rail project in California will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin and will eventually be extended to Sacramento and San Diego.
According to the CHSRA website, the overall system will total 800-miles with 24 stations with trains travelling at around 200 miles per hour speed.
The Burbank to Los Angeles project section will run from a new Hollywood Burbank Airport Station to the existing Los Angeles Union Station. It will serve as an additional link between Downtown Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.
The construction of the section is expected to start when funding becomes available.
CHSRA aims to complete the environmental process for the full Phase I of the high-speed rails system by next year.
The board is now set to assess the final environmental documents for the San Jose to Merced and San Francisco to San Jose project sections in April and June of 2022, respectively.
Currently, around 119 miles of the project is under construction.
In June last year, the federal government reinstated $929m of funding for the high-speed rail project.