NEWS RELEASE: High-Speed Rail Authority Receives Nearly $202 Million from Federal Government

Largest grant to the Authority under Biden-Harris Administration to fund 6 structures

September 25, 2023

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In the strongest show of a continued partnership, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) announced today receiving nearly $202 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to expand construction of high-speed rail by completing six grade separations.

The grant was made through the federal 2022 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program and is the largest award the Authority has received since the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in November 2021.

“This grant is the latest evidence that my Administration and the Biden-Harris Administration are in lock-step when it comes to building innovative, clean transportation projects for the future,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “These dollars signal our shared strong commitment to advance clean, electrified high-speed rail into the heart of some of the largest and fastest growing cities in California by the end of this decade. I welcome the federal government’s continued support for this major infrastructure project for Californians.”

The grant will fund the design, right-of-way purchases and construction of the following six grade separations in the city of Shafter (Kern County) that will separate car and pedestrian traffic from current freight trains and future high-speed rail trains:

  • Poplar Avenue
  • Fresno Avenue
  • Shafter Avenue
  • Central Avenue
  • Lerdo Highway
  • Riverside Street

These grade separations are the first to be funded outside of active construction underway along 119 miles in the Central Valley, signaling a strong federal commitment to advance the nation’s first 220 mph electrified high-speed rail operating segment between Merced, Fresno and Bakersfield.

“With the southernmost 22-mile stretch of active construction due to be complete this fall, this latest federal commitment represents a major step forward in our effort to deliver passenger service in California,” said Authority CEO Brian Kelly. “We look forward to this continued partnership with the Biden-Harris Administration.”

Today’s announcement follows on the heels of Rail Safety Week and efforts to encourage Californians to make safe decisions around railroad tracks to reduce the number of crashes and injuries. The grade separations receiving funding will eliminate street-level crossings at intersections along a busy freight rail corridor, preparing communities for future 220 mph high-speed train service and improving safety, air quality and mobility.

Construction on these grade separations is anticipated to start in August 2025 and be completed in August 2028.

Read the CRISI grant factsheet here.

The Authority has begun advanced design work to extend the 119 miles under construction to 171 miles of future electrified high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield. The high-speed rail project has created more than 11,000 good-paying jobs since the start of construction, 70% of those going to Central Valley residents, and there are more than 25 active construction sites. The Authority has also environmentally cleared 422 miles of the high-speed rail program from the Bay Area to the Los Angeles Basin.

For more information on construction, visit:

The following link contains recent video, animations, photography, press center resources and latest renderings:

These files are all available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.


Micah Flores
916-715-5396 (c)


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