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February 28, 2022

CHSRA issues final environmental studies for California high-speed rail

The proposed approval of the preferred alternative alignment will also be considered.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) in the US has released the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIR/EIS) for a high-speed rail in Northern California.

This involves the San Jose to Merced Project Section that will stretch for about 144.84km.

The final document for approval will be considered by CHSRA’s board of directors during its two-day board meeting in April.

The proposed approval of the preferred alternative alignment will also be taken into consideration.

Once sanctioned, this project section will be ‘shovel ready’ after the availability of preconstruction and construction funding.

CHSRA CEO Brian Kelly said: “This environmental document is the culmination of years of analysis and stakeholder engagement and an important milestone in advancing high-speed rail between Silicon Valley and the Central Valley.

“Connecting these two major economic regions will change the way people travel throughout the state and foster more equitable employment and housing opportunities.”

San Jose to Merced Project Section will span through or near the cities of Santa Clara, San Jose, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Los Banos, connecting Silicon Valley and the Central Valley.

Meanwhile, the proposed preferred alternative alignment will cover the modernisation of existing rail tracks between San Jose and Gilro.

It will also include the establishment of a new high-speed rail alignment with over 24.14km of tunnels through Pacheco Pass in the Diablo Range.

This segment of the state-wide high-speed rail system will connect California’s regions via public rail and transit as well as cut down travel times.

The proposed preferred alternative for the San Jose to Merced Project Section comprises high-speed rail stations at San Jose Diridon Station and in downtown Gilroy.

The current rail corridor from San Jose to Gilroy will also be electrified and upgraded, enabling both high-speed rail and electrified Caltrain service to cover South San Jose and Southern Santa Clara County.

Last year in August, CHSRA sanctioned the final EIR/EIS for a 128.74km alignment segment of the Bakersfield to Palmdale project.

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