CHSRA completes final environmental studies for Northern section

final environmental studies The California High-Speed Rail Authority released the final environmental studies which include the final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the 69 km rail line from San Francisco to San Jose in Northern California.

If approved by the Authority’s Board of Directors in August, this project section and its environmental document will complete full environmental clearance for high-speed rail in Northern California.

“We’re making true progress on nearing full environmental clearance for the entire Phase 1 high-speed rail project. We look forward to the Board’s consideration of this document in August,” Authority CEO Brian Kelly said.

Currently, environmental studies are completed for 611 km (380 miles) of the line from the Bay Area to northern Los Angeles County which “brings us into San Francisco and nearly 423 miles [680 km] to be environmentally cleared,” Brian Kelly explained.

Under both high-speed rail project build alternatives to be considered by the authority’s board, an interim rail station is planned at 4th & King streets in San Francisco, until the connection to Salesforce Transit Center is made, along with a station at Millbrae that offers a direct BART connection to San Francisco International Airport. Both Caltrain stations would undergo alterations to accommodate high-speed trains, including modifications to existing tracks and platforms.

Both alternatives include constructing a light maintenance facility, straightening tracks to improve travel times and installing rail corridor safety improvements. The preferred alternative for Board consideration, identified in the Final EIR/EIS as the portion of alternative A to Scott Boulevard in Santa Clara, includes an East Brisbane Light maintenance facility and excludes the additional passing tracks proposed in the other build alternative studied in the Final EIR/EIS, Alternative B.

The final environmental studies cover an analysis of alternatives, including impacts and effects, mitigation measures proposed to reduce environmental impacts and effects, public comments received on the Draft EIR/EIS and Revised/Supplemental Draft EIR/EIS and responses to comments and revisions to the Draft EIR/EIS made in response to comments.

The California high-speed rail project is currently under construction along 191.5 km in California’s Central Valley at 35 active job sites. To date, nearly 8,000 construction jobs have been created since the start of construction.

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