CHSRA Issues Final EIR/EIS for Northern California ProjectWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has released for Board approval the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIR/EIS) for the San Francisco to San Jose project section in Northern California.
The Board will consider certifying the San Francisco to San Jose project section Final EIR/EIS and approving the approximately 43-mile Preferred Alternative between San Francisco and Scott Boulevard in Santa Clara during its Aug. 17-18 meeting. If approved, this project section will move a step closer to being “shovel ready” for when pre-construction and construction funding becomes available, CHSRA reported on June 10.
The full San Francisco to San Jose Project Section (see map below) would provide high-speed rail service from the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco to the San Jose Diridon Station. It includes about 49 miles of blended-system infrastructure extending through San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties with Caltrain and CHSRA trains sharing tracks. CHSRA trains would stop at the 4th and King Street Station in San Francisco (an interim station); the Millbrae Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)/Caltrain intermodal station, which offers a direct BART connection to the San Francisco International Airport; and the San Jose Diridon Station. Once the Transbay Joint Powers Authority’s Downtown Rail Extension Project extends the electrified peninsula rail corridor from Mariposa Street (south of the interim 4th and King Street Station) to the Salesforce Transit Center, CHSRA trains would use that project’s track to reach Salesforce Transit Center, the ultimate terminal station in San Francisco.
The Final EIR/EIS (download summary below) evaluates two project alternatives. Both include the interim station and the station at Millbrae, as well as constructing a light maintenance facility, straightening tracks to improve travel times, and making rail corridor safety improvements.
The Preferred Alternative for Board consideration, identified in the Final EIR/EIS as the portion of Alternative A to Scott Boulevard in Santa Clara, includes an East Brisbane Light Maintenance Facility and excludes the additional passing tracks proposed in the other build alternative studied in the Final EIR/EIS, Alternative B, according to CHSRA.
CHSRA released the Draft EIR/EIS in July 2020.
“We’re making true progress on nearing full environmental clearance for the entire Phase 1 high-speed rail project,” CHSRA CEO Brian Kelly said. “With 380 miles from the Bay Area to northern Los Angeles County already complete, today’s [June 11] release brings us into San Francisco and nearly 423 miles to be environmentally cleared. We look forward to the Board’s consideration of this document in August.”
In April, CHSRA certified the Final EIR/EIS for the approximately 90-mile San Jose to Merced section in Northern California, approving the project.