Monday, June 1, 2015
California High-Speed Rail Authority Making Its Case in Developing the Route
The high speed rail authority is make a case for the rail system based on population projections of an increase in 12 million new inhabitants in the State by 2040. They propose that the rail system will be in place from San Francisco to Los Angeles by 2029. They have only started construction on the first 29 miles of the system began in January, and the will be building their first river crossing bridge over the Fresno River soon. An AV Press article stated from an event that the alignments for the two portions of the system going through the Antelope Valley Have not been determined. They do have a plan from Bakersfield over the Tehachapi Mountains, and from there into the northern end of Lancaster still needs to be determined. They did indicate they wanted to avoid the wind turbines and any mining so at least that is a hint. They said they will run along Sierra Highway, which is where the existing railroad track is located. According to the AVPress article: There are four major routes, plus a couple of sub-routes, being looked at between Palmdale and Burbank. The original proposals paralleled the Antelope Valley Freeway (Hwy 14) between Acton and Santa Clarita, but new alternatives include underground routes proposed to tunnel through the San Gabriel Mountains with the aim of avoiding opponents in the Acton area and the Santa Clarita Valley. And then there is the cost which is estimated to be $68 Billion. The rail authority’s case against this cost is that it will cost $158 Billion if they created new highways, expanding airports, and made new roads. So $68 Billion sounds like a bargain. It maybe a tough sell either way as the costs to do nothing will likely be congestion. If you own land along Sierra Hwy at some point you may get an offer letter, but it still maybe decades away as we don’t see a system in place by 2029 from SF to LA.