Type in a keyword to search for documents. Then you can filter the results by Category.
For Immediate Release:December 2, 2010
Contact: Rachel Wall916.384.9026
CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY APPROVES
STARTING POINT FOR STATEWIDE CONSTRUCTION
SACRAMENTO – The California
High-Speed Rail Authority Board voted today to begin construction of the system
connecting Los Angeles to the Bay Area in the heart of the state’s Central
Valley, choosing an option that makes the best use of available funding and
lays the foundation for expanding the track both north and south.
“We are building a statewide system.
We’re in the business of connecting major metropolitan centers across our
state, and we won’t have a true high-speed rail system until we tie every part
of this state together,” said Authority Vice Chair Tom Umberg. “It’s not one
town or one region versus another; it’s about connecting one region to
The decision followed a mandate from
the Federal Railroad Administration in October that directed that all federal
funding awarded to the project so far must be dedicated to a single portion of
the project in the Central Valley.
Authority staff considered that
direction, other requirements of state and federal law and how to create the
core of a statewide system when they recommended beginning with a 65-mile
stretch of track in the Central Valley. It would start north of Fresno near
Madera, include the construction of two new stations – one in downtown Fresno
and the other east of Hanford – and continue to Corcoran, north of Bakersfield.
“Other states are shrinking from the
challenge of high-speed rail. In California, we’re rising to meet it,” Umberg
said. “And we’re sending a clear signal to Washington – we’re ready to put
those dollars to use – north toward Merced and the Bay Area and south toward
Bakersfield and Los Angeles.”
The Board also considered three
other options for beginning the project, but each of them would leave more
money unused and might fall short of some state and federal requirements.
This initial segment will use about
$4.15 billion of the available $4.3 billion to build two new stations, acquire
rights of way, construct viaducts, prepare the site, grade, restore vegetation,
build rail bridges, realign roadways and relocate existing railways and
The project will create thousands of
jobs in one of the areas in California hit hardest by the national economic
recession, a fact not lost on Valley leaders.
“This project will put a lot of my
people to work,” said Don Savory, Business Manager and Secretary Treasurer of
Ironworkers Local 155. “We need the jobs here. And by beginning this project
from Madera to Corcoran, California will get even more bang for the buck. Most
of my workers are based in Fresno, so we won’t need to pay travel or
subsistence costs. They’ll be close to home.”
David Elias, Fowler City Manager,
noted that this project means an “economic boom” for the region.
“With some areas reporting 30-40
percent unemployment, we need it,” he said.
No construction can begin until the
Authority completes its environmental reviews of the project. The federal
deadline for completing these reviews is September 2011, and construction is
expected to begin in 2012 and finish in 2017.