Draft Environmental Report Issued for Proposed Segment of California High-Speed Network

A draft environmental impact report was to be released this week by the California High-Speed Rail Authority regarding a 14-mile high-speed section between Burbank and Los Angeles.

The report evaluates the effects and benefits of CHSRA’s plan to realign existing rail tracks in the corridor to allow for two additional tracks.

The added tracks would be electrified for high-speed rail and could be shared with Amtrak and Los Angeles commuter railroad Metrolink.

The project section would connect Burbank Airport Station and Los Angeles Union Station.

CHSRA will host an online community open house and hearing for the public to submit oral and written comments.

The draft will be available for review from May 29 through July 16.

A final environmental report is expected to be issued in 2021.

In a unrelated development, the Sacramento Bee reported that California Gov. Gavin Newsom will remove 88 positions for private-sector consultants from the state’s high speed project.

Instead, the state will create 70 new jobs for public employees.

The change is designed to address criticism that there are too many consultants with insufficient oversight overseeing the project.

A 2018 audit found the project relied on high-priced consultants “for whom the state’s best interests may not be the highest priority.”


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