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California rail authority issues environmental document for Central Valley wye


The California High-Speed Rail Authority yesterday released a draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the Central Valley wye that would be part of the state's high-speed rail (HSR) system between Merced and Fresno.

The authority is seeking public comments on the draft document from Sept. 13 through Oct. 28. A public hearing will be held Oct. 1 in Chowchilla, authority officials said in a press release.

The authority completed the public review of the draft statement under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in May and June and is now releasing the same document for public review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), they said.

Authority officials will respond to comments received during both the NEPA and CEQA comment periods in a final supplemental document planned for release in 2020.

The document supplements a final environmental impact statement issued in 2012 for the Merced-to-Fresno section of the HSR project. The supplement focuses on the Central Valley wye portion of the alignment that would create the east-west connection between the San Jose-to-Merced section to the west and the approved Merced-to-Fresno alignment.

The 2012 final document identified the "Hybrid Alternative" as the preferred alternative for the north/south alignment of the HSR, but did not select a preferred alternative for the Central Valley Wye, authority officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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