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CHSRA to revise Draft EIR/EIS for Fresno-Bakersfield segment


Last week, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) announced it will issue a revised Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the Fresno-Bakersfield section of the high-speed rail project.

Rather than issuing a Final EIR/EIS for the Fresno-Bakersfield section in January as previously scheduled, CHSRA will use the next six months to analyze the Hanford West Bypass route and an alternative station location to serve the Kings/Tulare region. The authority also will examine improvements to the existing Fresno-Bakersfield alternatives and seek “value engineering” opportunities to reduce costs and make other revisions, according to a press release.

The revised document is scheduled to be released next spring. The additional analysis will not affect the segment’s construction, which is set to begin late next year in Fresno, nor will it affect the Draft EIR/EIS for the Merced-Fresno section, according to CHSRA. The Fresno-Bakersfield construction segment will total about 140 miles, depending on the alternative selected, and has an estimated contract value of nearly $6 billion.

The formal comment period for the Fresno-Bakersfield Draft EIR/EIS section will end on Oct. 13, as previously scheduled. The revised document will have a separate 45-day formal comment period.

Subsequent construction packages are scheduled to begin in mid- to late 2013, after the Fresno-Bakersfield section environmental review is complete.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/10/2011