NEWS RELEASE: High-Speed Rail Awarded Federal Grant to Advance Economic Development and Improve Infrastructure in Wasco

November 19, 2021

WASCO, Calif. – The United States Department of Transportation today awarded a $24 million grant to the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority), advancing the nation’s first high-speed rail system while enhancing and better connecting the community of Wasco (Kern County).

“High-speed rail is about connecting Californians and our diverse communities,” said Authority CEO Brian Kelly. “As we build this transformative system, we continue to work and collaborate with communities throughout the state to create jobs, spur economic development and improve quality of life.”

Graphic which shows the outline of California and a map pin in the approximate location of Wasco, California, and a speech bubble which reads:

The RAISE grant stands for Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, which the work enabled by this funding exemplifies. The Authority will use the $24 million for crucial safety, efficiency and construction projects in and around Wasco, including:

  • Lowering State Route 46 to properly accommodate trucks passing under the railroad, which carries both passenger and freight trains, preventing polluting and heavy-duty trucks from using smaller neighborhood streets;
  • Better and safer multimodal connectivity across the freight corridor with a new sidewalk, an enhanced State Route 46, and an efficient roundabout;
  • Enhancing adjacent properties affected by the project and working with the City to prepare them for improved land use and economic development.

“The City of Wasco is very pleased with today’s announcement,” said City Manager Scott Hurlbert. “It’s a great example of multi-agency teamwork and recognition of significant local needs. This funding will resolve a tremendous financial burden for the City and help us move our community forward with confidence.”

Taken together, this grant helps bring improvement, safety, environmental justice, and economic development to a historically disadvantaged community. North and south of Wasco, the Authority has 119 miles under construction with 35 active construction sites in the Central Valley. To date, more than 6,000 construction jobs have been created since the start of construction. For more, visit www.buildhsr.com.

See the U.S. Department of Transportation news release on this subject here.

Contact

Augie Blancas
(C) (559) 720-6695
augie.blancas@hsr.ca.gov

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