Project Section Environmental Documents

Merced to Fresno: Central Valley Wye
Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) announces the availability of a draft supplemental environmental impact report pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) entitled “Merced to Fresno Section: Central Valley Wye Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement” (referred to below as “Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS”). This document was prepared as a supplement to the 2012 Final EIR/EIS for the Merced to Fresno Section of the California High-Speed Rail Project (Merced to Fresno Final EIR/EIS), which was certified/approved by the Authority as CEQA lead agency and by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) lead agency. The present Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS contains all the content required by CEQA and NEPA, however, the FRA has not signed the document for publication under NEPA. The Authority as CEQA lead agency is therefore issuing the Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS pursuant to CEQA only at this time for public and agency comments. Content in the Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS that is specific or pertaining to NEPA is for information only at this time and should not be interpreted to be the opinion or conclusion of the FRA or any other federal agency.

Following its certification of the Merced to Fresno Final EIR/EIS in May 2012, the Authority approved portions of the "Preferred Alternative" (Hybrid Alternative) outside the wye for the north/south alignment of the high‐speed rail and the Downtown Merced and Downtown Fresno Mariposa Street station locations. The FRA made a similar decision. Both agencies elected to defer a decision on the area known as the “wye connection” - that is, the east-west HSR connection between the San Jose to Merced Section to the west and the north-south Merced to Fresno Section to the east, to allow for additional environmental analysis. This Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS is the next step in the CEQA environmental review process for the Authority to select a wye connection. This document evaluates the impacts and benefits of implementing a wye connection in the geographically limited area of the wye connection between the cities of Merced and Madera and is based on additional project planning and engineering that has occurred over the last several years.

The Authority’s Proposed Project, also identified as the “Preferred Alternative” in this Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS, is the State Route (SR) 152 (North) to Road 11 Wye Alternative. This Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS also evaluates the No Project Alternative and three other Central Valley Wye alternatives: the SR 152 (North) to Road 13 Wye Alternative, SR 152 (North) to Road 19 Wye Alternative, and Avenue 21 to Road 13 Wye Alternative.


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Project Section Environmental Documents


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