Highlights from Chapter 4:
Advancing Statewide: Progress in the Central Valley, Northern and Southern California
Progress continues across the 171 miles under construction and development in the Central Valley, including more than 30 active construction sites and 69 structures or grade separation projects either underway or completed. Beyond laying the foundation for high-speed rail infrastructure, these structures are already improving safety and air quality along high-speed rail’s alignment.
As the Authority focuses on construction in delivering the Merced to Bakersfield line, significant progress continues in Northern and Southern California, particularly with advancing environmental approvals. With 422 miles now environmentally cleared from San Francisco in the north to Palmdale in Los Angeles County in the south, efforts focus on completing environmental review of the remaining two project sections in Southern California.
This chapter gives an overview of the progress being made in California’s regions, including milestones since the 2022 Business Plan. It also takes a look at activities that are currently underway and milestones to come over the following years.
- Design is now 100% complete across all three Construction Packages (CP 1, CP 2-3, CP 4) on the 119 miles under construction, including Authority-approved design packages for structures and guideway
- Right-of-way acquisition is 96% complete and utility relocations are at 71% complete
- The Authority has made significant investments in Central Valley communities through mitigation measures that align with the project’s environmental commitments and policies
- The increase in construction activity over the past two years contributed to a considerable boost in jobs, with an average of more than 1,000 workers dispatched to construction sites daily and more than 10,000 construction jobs created to date
Central Valley Timeline 2021-2023
Text description of Central Valley timeline
This timeline highlights major points of progress in the Central Valley in 2021, 2022 and early 2023. In April 2021, the San Joaquin River Viaduct and Pergola was completed, then chosen as Structure of the Year by the California Transportation Foundation in May. In June 2022, a ready-for-construction milestone was reached as design along the 119 miles was advanced to 100%. In August 2022, the Authority Board approved advancing design contracts extending the project into Merced and Bakersfield. In October 2022, the Authority awarded design contract for Central Valley high-speed rail stations. In February 2023, the Cedar Viaduct was completed and the Authority celebrated the creation of 10,000 construction jobs.
- As of August 2022, environmental clearance has been completed for the entire Northern California region from San Francisco to Merced
- Station planning continues to advance in collaboration with the Authority’s regional rail and transit partners
- The Caltrain Electrification Project, a critical building block in delivering a modernized commuter and intercity passenger rail corridor and future high-speed rail service, is advancing and scheduled to open for passenger service in 2024
- Pending funding availability, the next steps will include advancing design, geotechnical investigations and pre-construction activities, including third-party agreements and strategic right-of-way acquisition
Northern California Timeline 2021-2022
Text description of Northern California timeline
This timeline highlights major points of progress in Northern California in 2021 and 2022. In April 2021, the revised/supplemental draft EIR/EIS for San José to Merced was released. In July 2021, the revised/supplemental draft EIR/EIS for San Francisco to San José was released. September 2021 marked the completion of the 25th Avenue Grade Separation Project in San Mateo. April 2022 included the San José to Merced Final EIR/EIS and Record of Decision. August 2022 included the San Francisco to San José Final EIR/EIS and Record of Decision.
- As of January 2022, the Authority has environmentally cleared two project section alignments in Southern California – Bakersfield to Palmdale and Burbank to Los Angeles
- The draft environmental document for the Palmdale to Burbank project section was issued in September 2022, with the draft environmental document for the Los Angeles to Anaheim project section expected later in 2024
- The Authority is making major investments in bookend projects, including the Rosecrans/Marquardt Grade Separation Project and upgrades to Los Angeles Union Station as part of the Link Union Station (Link US) project
- The Authority continues to work with Metro, the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN) and other partners in the region to advance station planning
Southern California Timeline 2021-2022
Text description of Southern California timeline
This timeline highlights major points of progress in Southern California in 2021 and 2022. August 2021 included the Bakersfield to Palmdale Final EIR/EIS and Record of Decision. October 2021 included the finalization of an MOU with Brightline West, CalSTA, Caltrans and the Authority. January 2022 included the Burbank to Los Angeles Final EIR/EIS and Record of Decision. In April 2022, the Authority’s Board of Directors approved a $423.3 million Project Management and Funding Agreement for the Link Union Station (Link US) project. Groundbreaking on the Rosecrans/Marquardt Grade Separation Project took place in June 2022. The Draft EIR/EIR for Palmdale to Burbank was released in September 2022.
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