SAN JOSE, Calif. (KERO) — The California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors on Thursday certified the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement and unanimously approved the nearly 90-mile San Jose to Merced project section.
The board also approved proceeding with the design of the Bakersfield station along with the Merced, Fresno, and Kings-Tulare stations.
The approval of the environmental report clears the way for about 400 of the 500 miles of the high-speed rail project’s Phase 1 alignment. The phase includes a contiguous stretch between Merced and Palmdale along with the previous clearance of the Burbank to Los Angeles section.
“Today’s approval represents another major milestone and brings us one step closer to delivering high-speed rail between the Silicon Valley and the Central Valley,” Authority CEO Brian Kelly said in a statement. “The Authority is poised to make the vision of high-speed rail in the Bay Area a reality. We look forward to continued collaboration with our federal, state and local partners to advance the project in Northern California.”
During the two-day meeting, the board also approved a multi-million dollar funding and planning agreement with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority to upgrade LA Union Station. Union Station will be a major hub for high-speed rail in the L.A. region.