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California High Speed Train - Fresno to Bakersfield - Central Valley

In Progress
Project Type: 
Nationally or Regionally Significant Projects
Coordinating Agency: 
Responsible Agency POC: 
Stephanie Perez
Environmental Protection Specialist
Start Date: 
Estimated Completion Date: 

The Fresno to Bakersfield section of the California High Speed Train (HST) System extends approximately 114 miles in California's Central Valley and is a portion of Phase 1 of the HST system. Stations are planned at Fresno and Bakersfield, and a third Kings/Tulare Regional Station is being considered near Hanford. The high-speed train project will support job creation in a region that is currently experiencing some of the nation's highest unemployment rates. Once operating, projections estimate 4,500 boardings daily in Fresno and 5,100 in Bakersfield, with travel time between Fresno and Bakersfield estimated at 37 minutes. Early, intensive coordination for project environmental reviews has supported a project schedule that is projected to save up to 6 months, enabling the project to meet funding deadlines and an aggressive construction schedule.

Expediting Process: 
FRA and the Authority entered into an MOU for the integration of NEPA, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 408 of the Rivers and Harbors Act for the HST System in December of 2011. The integration MOU was developed to ensure a streamlined permitting and environmental clearance process among FRA, the Authority, USACE and the EPA. The signatories have developed technical working groups, data needs for checkpoints or milestones in the integration process, and other technical and decision-making workshops to facilitate the permitting and approval/concurrence processes. Checkpoints A Purpose and Need and B Range of Alternatives have been completed for the Fresno to Bakersfield section. Currently, FRA and the Authority are preparing Checkpoint C, which includes information for the Corps' LEDPA decision and 408 approval process, as well as a Draft (conceptual) mitigation plan.

Reviews, Approvals and Permits

Title Responsible Agency Responsible Agency POC Target Completion Date Status
Begin Design/Build Construction CP2/3 CHSRA 08/30/2015 Complete
Begin Design/Build Construction CP1 CHSRA 06/29/2015 Complete
Checkpoint C: Checkpoint Meeting with Signatories USACE, EPA, DOT Lupe Jimenez 09/26/2012 Complete
Checkpoint C: Submit Informational Package to EPA/USACE (prior to Checkpoint Mtg) DOT Lupe Jimenez 09/24/2012 Complete
Issue Notice to Proceed-Begin Civil/Structural Design CP2/3 CHSRA 07/22/2014 Complete
Issue Notice to Proceed-Begin Civil/Structural Design CP1 CHSRA 08/18/2013 Complete
Section 408 Permit Approval/Section 208: CVFPB Encroachment Permit Approval State or Local Agency Paul Maniccia 12/30/2015 In Progress
Section 2081 Compliance - Incidental Take Permit DOT CFGD 12/06/2014 Complete
California Fish and Game Code Section 1602 Agreement DOT CFGD 12/30/2015 In Progress
Section 401: coordination with RWQCB for water quality certification State Water Control Board 12/30/2015 In Progress
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