Concerns surround approved Californian rail project

The Federal Railroad Administration has approved California’s planned Merced-Fresno line, with construction on the 60-mile route set to begin early next year.

The project, which will see the development of the first high-speed train venture in the area, has been hailed as historic, with rail authority’s poised to “move forward and break ground next year.”

Environmental concerns

Environmental concerns have surrounded the project with several lawsuits being filed against authorities in hope of stalling work. Critics say work should not be approved due to the possibility of the project being in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act.

Further concerns raised

Concerns have also been raised as fears that low-income neighbourhoods will suffer greater risks from construction than others.

Addressing the concerns, the Federal Railroad Administration said: “steps will be taken to reduce those effects so they will not be appreciably more severe or greater in magnitude than the broader population.”

Greater benefits

In the long-term, the project will likely benefit the majority of residents with improved transport systems, reduced traffic, improved air quality and an increase in jobs.

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