Regional Newsletters

Statewide Update

Screen shot of Fresno Bee Editorial featuring Governor Gavin Newsom

Fresno Bee: Listen to Governor Gavin Newsom’s HSR Plans and Expectations — 11/08/19

There was a lot happening at high-speed rail in the last few weeks, and the Central Valley was at the heart of the action. From the Regions Rise economic summit, to Governor Newsom’s reaffirmation of building high-speed rail in the Valley, to visits from our Swedish transportation partners, construction progress and field hearings, check out the latest for high-speed rail: It’s happening.

CEO Report

Earlier this month, several members of our Authority staff and the Board of Directors, including Chairman Lenny Mendonca, participated in the Governor’s “Regions Rise” Economic Summit in Fresno. Also, in this month's CEO report read about the Record of Decision reached for the Bakersfield Locally Generated Alternative and the progress being made on the 2020 Business Plan.

CEO Report

High-Speed Rail Receives Top National Sustainability Ranking

California’s high-speed rail project has again received a 5-star rating as one of the top sustainable rail projects in North America. The ranking is courtesy of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Infrastructure Assessment, the leading benchmark for environmental, social and governance policies, practices, and performance of real estate and infrastructure investments around the world.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s 2019 Sustainability Report: Energizing Economic Revitalization highlights the Authority’s sustainability activities for 2018 in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards Core Option – the world’s leading and most widely adopted sustainability reporting framework.

“It is great to see California’s High-Speed Rail Authority continuing to report to GRESB to benchmark its performance against similar infrastructure projects and assets, and against the entire GRESB dataset annually,” said GRESB Infrastructure Director Rick Walters. “This ongoing commitment to sustainability is affirmed further this year by California’s project moving back up into the top quintile and therefore receiving a 5-star rating. The Authority’s track record on sustainability, as measured by GRESB, will surely position the asset well when it comes to attracting private sector investment in the future.”

As of mid-2018, the project’s total investments into the system statewide had created approximately $7.6 billion in total economic activity across the state.

Construction Progress in the Central Valley

Construction crew works on the arches at the San Joaquin River Viaduct

In north Fresno, crews are working over the San Joaquin River and placing concrete at the east archway of the viaduct. Nighttime closures kicked off on State Route 99 as crews began the placement of precast concrete girders over the highway to connect the Cedar Viaduct. Just outside of downtown Fresno, crews have completed the walls, floor and lid of the Fresno Trench and are now placing concrete for the intrusion protection barrier walls that will separate the high-speed rail corridor and Union Pacific Railroad. See all this and more in the latest Construction Update, out now!

Investing in California Small Businesses

Crew working on girders at the Cedar Viaduct

The latest version of the Investing in California Small Businesses newsletter is out now. This issue highlights veteran-owned businesses and resources the Authority has available for veteran-owned businesses. Features include She-Marine Construction Supply, a Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) owned by a U.S. Marine veteran, and Wayne Gross, an outreach liaison for the Department of General Services and a U.S. Air Force veteran.

Environmental Schedule Updated

This fall, the Authority made major progress in clearing the northern and southern ends of the high-speed rail project in the Central Valley. On November 8, the Authority issued the Record of Decision for the Locally Generated Alternative – the final 23-mile route between Shafter and Bakersfield. This decision allows the Authority to move towards project construction in the area. In the north, on October 28, the public comment period closed for the Merced to Fresno Section: Central Valley Wye Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement. The Authority is currently reviewing the comments received, and plans on issuing a Final Supplemental EIR/EIS in July of next year. On July 23, 2019, the State of California announced that it had received approval from the Federal Railroad Administration to assume its federal environmental review responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act and other federal environmental laws. In 2020, the Authority anticipates releasing the remaining documents for the full 520-mile system from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area to get those alignments identified as soon as possible.

Project Segment Draft EIR/EIS Revised ROD Date Months to ARRA 12/2022 Deadline from ROD Date
Locally Generated Alternative (F – B)*
*Complete
July 2019 October 2019 39
Central Valley Wye (M – F) September 2019 September 2020 27
Bakersfield to Palmdale January 2020 February 2021 22
Burbank to Los Angeles February 2020 January 2021 23
Palmdale to Burbank February 2020 August 2021 16
San Jose to Merced March 2020 April 2021 20
San Francisco to San Jose April 2020 June 2021 18
Los Angeles to Anaheim November 2020 December 2021 12



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