Airport pursues high-speed train project in California

Follows comes as high-speed agency releases environmental report on Northern California segment

A Metrolink train arrives at the Burbank Airport station on the Ventura County Line. The airport continues along the planned route of the California high-speed rail line. (Trains: David Lassen)

BURBANK, Calif. — Hollywood Burbank Airport has filed a lawsuit against California’s high-speed rail agency, arguing that the planned route and nearby subway station could affect airport operations.

The lawsuit comes as the California High Speed ​​​​Rail Authority released the latest environmental impact studies for the Northern California segment between San Jose and Merced.

The Los Angeles Times reports the airport’s environmental lawsuit is asking the rail authority to revise its plans and release a new environmental impact report for public comment.

The lawsuit claims the rail authority postponed an analysis of the impact of the rail project on airport operations, and that such a postponement is not permitted under the Environmental Quality Act of State.

The lawsuit is the first on the Los Angeles-area high-speed rail project, but the project has been plagued by lawsuits in California’s Central Valley that have resulted in delays and design changes that have contributed to soaring project costs.

Meanwhile, the authority on Friday released the final environmental impact report/environmental impact statement for the 90-mile San Jose-Merced segment, which would allow high-speed trains to reach San Francisco. From San Jose to San Francisco, trains will use the existing Caltrain commuter rail line.

The authority’s board will review the document at a meeting on April 20-21, along with consideration of the proposed preferred alignment. If approved, this would bring the section closer to being ready to build when funding becomes available.

“This environmental document is the culmination of years of analysis and stakeholder engagement and an important step in the advancement of high-speed rail between Silicon Valley and Central Valley,” the CEO said. railway authority, Brian Kelly. in a press release. “…We remain committed to ecologically cleaning up the 500 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles and Anaheim and advancing design statewide.”

The document is available on the website of the high-speed rail authority.

Jose P. Rogers