Burbank to L.A. high-speed rail section one step closer to construction

Posted: 21 January 2022 | | No comments yet

Approval has been given on the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for the Burbank to Los Angeles high-speed rail project section.

High-Speed Rail awarded federal grant to improve infrastructure in Wasco

Credit: California High-Speed Rail Authority.

The Board of Directors at the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority)  have approved the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the approximately 14 mile Burbank to Los Angeles (L.A.) project section. This action clears the way for full California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) clearance of nearly 300 miles of the high-speed rail project’s 500 mile Phase 1 alignment from San Francisco to L.A./Anaheim.

The Board’s actions mark the second certification of an environmental document in the Southern California region and the first in the Los Angeles Basin.

Authority CEO, Brian Kelly, said: “The approval represents a historic milestone and brings us closer to providing the first high-speed rail system in the U.S. We appreciate the continued support and collaboration with local and regional agencies and stakeholders as we work together to improve transportation in California.”

The Board’s certification of the Burbank to L.A. Final EIR/EIS is a critical milestone that moves the project section closer to being ‘shovel ready’ as funding becomes available. The section will connect the high-speed rail system from a new Hollywood Burbank Airport Station to the existing Los Angeles Union Station, providing an additional link between Downtown L.A. and the San Fernando Valley.

The alignment for this project section will primarily use existing railroad right-of-way adjacent to the Los Angeles River through the cities of Burbank, Glendale and L.A. High-speed rail service along this route will improve long-term air quality, decrease rail congestion, and increase mobility.

The Board certification of the final environmental document and approval of the Burbank to L.A. project section reaffirms the Authority’s commitment to complete the environmental process for the full Phase 1 California High-Speed Rail System from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim by 2023.

The Authority will consider the final environmental documents for the San Jose to Merced and San Francisco to San Jose project sections in April and June 2022.

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