CVRTF Meets With High Speed Rail Representatives
CVRTF President Betsy Mahan and Vice President Kathy Jacobson met recently with William Gimpel, AICP, Senior Supervising Planner for the High Speed Rail (HSR) Sacramento-Merced Corridor, and Gene Endicott, Public Relations Consultant for the Sac-Merced segment. The purpose of the meeting was to receive an update on the status of environmental studies, and the project in general.
The conversation was very informative and provided a timeline for resuming the proposed rail trail project – as long as the CCT Corridor is not selected.
Following is a summary:
- William Gimpel and Gene Endicott emphasized that the Sacramento-Merced segment may not be addressed in the near future as it is currently planned to be the last segment to be developed in 2020.
- The Sacramento-Merced segment is currently in the “Alternatives Analysis” or “AA” process. This means they are preparing a preliminary report on the corridors to be eligible for consideration and therefore to receive an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
- The AA process is expected to conclude in 2015 at which time the corridors to be studied will be presented to the HSR Authority, and then to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers for their preliminary consideration.
- Once they receive the go-ahead for the two corridors to be considered, the EIS and EIR will commence, which will trigger more community outreach on their part. The studies will take into account not only the impact on flora and fauna, but the adjacent communities, parks, private property interests and businesses. They expect the studies to be concluded in 2017.
- One of the reasons for the delay in beginning these studies is that they have a 3 year shelf life and this segment is not expected to begin construction until 2020. Any delays in this start date may also delay the start of the studies.
- Once the studies are complete, the EPA and Army Corps will have to sign off on the corridor recommendation before construction can begin.
- Discussion of this segment may possibly take place at the December HSR Authority Board Meeting, although it could be postponed until January due to a full agenda. Gene Endicott will keep CVRTF informed and he believes it would be appropriate to make a brief statement about our continued interest in the CCT if the segment is on the agenda.
- Letters from supporters of the CCT as a community trail are welcome, and should describe the possible impact of HSR on our community, the environment, our businesses and the trail project. Comments may be submitted online or by mail to the address listed below. Please include the required information and send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact the California High-Speed Rail Authority and Let Them Know You Support The Trail!
Feel free to download and use this sample letter.
Comment Online Using This Contact Form – http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/contact.aspx
770 L Street, Suite 800
Sacramento, CA 95814
Board of Directors
Attn: Board Liaison
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