White House approval process accelerated for high-speed rail network
The White House is set to announce plans to accelerate the permit approval process for the 114 mile Madera-Bakersfield line, part of the high-speed rail network.
White House call for faster process
Permission has recently been granted for work to commence on the nation’s first high-speed rail stretch near Fresno. Now, the White House want to speed-up the process in order to begin work on the remainder of the route which will travel through Central Valley.
Save up to six-months
The speed-up of the process is part of the “We Can’t Wait” program that was announced in March. It is expected that the faster approval process will save around six months time on each project.
Construction due to begin next-year
Construction is due to begin on the first-leg of the planned San Francisco to Los Angeles line early next year. Work will initiate on a 24 mile stretch between Madera and Fresno, which is part of the 65 mile line between Merced and Fresno. The line is expected to cost $68 billion with completion set for 2029.
Chief executive officer of the High-Speed Rail Authority, Jeff Morales, commented on the fast approval process: “It certainly reinforces the administration’s commitment to the program and getting it going and helping California recognize the benefits of it.”
The announcement promises to speed-up the process for the remainder of the San Joaquin Valley stretch, an area which faces strong opposition. It is thought that completion for this segment will be by 2017.