Final EIS for California HSR published

San Jose – Merced high-speed railThe California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has released the final environmental impact report/environmental impact statement (EIR/EIS) for the 144.8 km San Jose – Merced high-speed rail project in Northern California.

The section will link the San Jose Diridon station in Santa Clara, and Carlucci Road in Merced County, crossing through Santa Clara, San Benito and Merced counties and the cities of Santa Clara, San Jose, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Los Banos.

By reducing travel times and integrating the high-speed rail system with other modes of transport, this section of the high-speed rail system will tie California’s regions together through public rail and transit.

“Connecting these two major economic regions [Silicon Valley and Central Valley] will change the way people travel throughout the state and foster more equitable employment and housing opportunities. We remain committed to environmentally clearing all 500 miles [804.6 km] from San Francisco to Los Angeles and Anaheim and advancing design statewide,” Authority CEO Brian Kelly said.

The proposed preferred alternative for the San Jose – Merced high-speed rail includes the rail stations at San Jose Diridon station and in downtown Gilroy, offering links with regional and local mass transit. The proposed preferred alternative will modernise and electrify the existing rail corridor from San Jose to Gilroy, allowing for both high-speed rail and electrified Caltrain service to South San Jose and Southern Santa Clara County.

The authority has previously cleared 4 project sections of the high-speed rail project prior to issuing this San Jose to Merced project section environmental document. Last fall, the authority approved the Bakersfield to Palmdale project section, and in January, has completed its CEQA approval for the Burbank to Los Angeles section. Prior to these approvals, CHSRA approved the Fresno to Bakersfield project section and the Merced to Fresno project section.

California high-speed rail is currently under construction along 119 miles (191.5 km) in California’s Central Valley at 35 active job sites. To date, nearly 7,500 construction jobs have been created since the start of construction.

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