The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CAHSRA) is continuing to plan for modernizing rail service throughout California. A new report released Feb. 28 details how Central Valley high-speed rail will connect to Palmdale, in north Los Angeles County. The plan will be discussed at a series of meetings starting next week.
High-speed rail is currently the largest infrastructure project under construction in the state, with more than a hundred miles already being built in California’s Central Valley. Passenger service is scheduled to begin this decade.
CAHSRA says the 80-mile stretch from Bakersfield to Palmdale will provide a connection from the Central Valley to the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles County, closing the existing passenger rail gap between Northern and Southern California through the Tehachapi Mountains, as well as providing new opportunities for economic development and revitalization in the cities along this corridor.
The route will travel through or near the communities of Bakersfield, Edison, Tehachapi, Rosamond, Lancaster and Palmdale with stations in Bakersfield and Palmdale.
The approved Bakersfield Station and the proposed Palmdale Station would maximize ridership, work in coordination with of local land use planning and provide multi-modal transportation options, including potential connection with Brightline Trains in Palmdale.
With the release of this Bakersfield to Palmdale Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS), the Authority remains on track to complete environmental clearance for the full Phase 1 system by the federally mandated 2022 deadline. From Friday, February 28, 2020 through Friday, April 13, 2020, the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section Draft EIR/EIS is available for a 45-day CEQA and NEPA review and public comment period.
In conjunction with the public review period for the document, the Authority will hold a public hearing to take public comment. Comments received regarding environmental issues will be reviewed and responded to as required by law. The final EIR/EIS document for Bakersfield to Palmdale will be issued in 2021.
Public hearings will be held April 9, 2020 from 3 – 8 p.m. at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park, Stanley Kleiner Activity Building, 43063 North 10th St. W. in Lancaster.
The following public meetings are also scheduled:
- Lancaster – March 4, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Jane Reynolds Park Activity Center, 716 Oldfield St., Lancaster
- Bakersfield – March 5, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Edison Middle School Gym, 721 S. Edison Rd., Bakersfield
- Rosamond – March 26, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Rosamond Public Library, 3611 Rosamond Blvd., Rosamond
Comments regarding the Draft EIR/EIS for the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section can be submitted at the four meetings, through the Authority’s website (www.hsr.ca.gov), by email at Bakersfield_palmdale@hsr.ca.gov with the subject line “Bakersfield to Palmdale Draft EIR/EIS Comment”.
To view the contents of the Draft EIR/EIS, please visit our website starting February 28, 2020: www.hsr.ca.gov.