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The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) yesterday announced it reached a settlement agreement with the city of Shafter, California, to dismiss litigation over the final environmental impact report (EIR) and statement for the Fresno-to-Bakersfield portion of the authority’s high-speed rail (HSR) program.The agreement demonstrates the commitment between both parties to work together to bring HSR service to the state’s Central Valley, CHSRA officials said in a press release.“We appreciate the opportunity to work with the authority and believe the project is improved through this process,” said Shafter City Manager Scott Hurlbert.The EIR report and statement for the 114-mile Fresno-to-Bakersfield project was adopted in 2014 and identified the preferred HSR route. The CHSRA’s board earlier this month certified the final supplemental EIR for the segment.The project is part of the larger HSR system planned by the authority and would connect to routes heading west to San Francisco, south to Los Angeles and, eventually, north to Sacramento. The Fresno-to-Bakersfield section is needed because of projected population growth and intercity travel demands over the next 20 years, and the associated delays and congestion that could occur on state highways and at airports if the HSR system isn’t built, according to the CHSRA.
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