High-Speed Rail's direction to be decided

Published 05/05 2014 05:25PM

Updated 05/05 2014 11:21PM

FRESNO, CA - The direction of the high speed rail line will likely be decided on Wednesday. The original plan has it going right through Bakersfield, but city officials hope it doesn't get that far.

On Tuesday, there will be a public hearing at Fresno City Hall on the plans.

The high speed train's tracks are reported to be coming from downtown Fresno to downtown Bakersfield. Its environmental impact report became available April 18th, but state and city leaders said 17 days to review the 20,000 pages wasn't enough time to know the impact on having a train run through Bakersfield.

Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy said the train's route would take out arena parking and the joint city utilities and law enforcement car servicing lots.

Bakersfield officials sent a one hundred page letter to the rail authority, but didn't get an adequate response, according to Tandy.

Tandy said the bright spot is a second item proposal that would stop the rail north of 7th Standard Road.

"We can't not be able to provide services from our only common facility in the middle of the city from which we disperse all of our trucks and vehicles," said Tandy. "And, if they are making a commitment not to build that section until they've spent more time working with us on the alignment and the routing and so on, that would be a good thing."

The public hearing is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Fresno City Hall. California High-Speed Rail Authority board members will be there to answer questions.

The board will be back at Fresno City Hall on Wednesday, May 7 to certify the report, which would give the go-ahead to start procuring land for the high-speed rail project.

The city also sent a proposal asking the board to give Bakersfield officials 60 days notice if it plans to make changes to its rail line plans.

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