The California High-Speed Rail Authority released 17,000 pages of environmental impact report in August, revealing that it was only investigating one route for the bullet train's Fresno to Bakersfield segment and that that route was going to be much more expensive than expected. Pretty much everyone (residents, landowners, cities, financial experts) was pissed off by the length of the report and the short amount of time to comment on it (just 45 days), the cost, and/or the specifics of the plans, so today the CAHSR announced that it's going to release a new environmental impact report to look at other options for the Fresno to Bakersfield route.
The LA Times reports that right now "The segment is projected to cost $6.1 billion to $7.2 billion, up to double the original estimates. The escalation accompanied decisions to have long elevated bridges over cities and route options disrupting more businesses than first planned and traversing rich agricultural fields. The plan would have required 23 miles of elevated track structure and crossed 124 public roads, requiring big construction projects at each point."
The Authority says the new Fresno-Bakersfield plan will be released in the spring, but that it won't delay construction, which is scheduled to start next year. In a press release, the CAHSR says it will reconsider the route and station around Hanford and "will also investigate improvements to the existing Fresno to Bakersfield alternatives."
· High-speed rail route to be revised [LAT]
· Environmental Reports Released For California High-Speed Rail [Curbed LA]