Draft Environmental Documents
Our next board meeting is scheduled for March 17, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. I want to report some areas of progress that will occur between now and then:
- Draft EIR/EIS for the Bakersfield to Palmdale segment will be released publicly at the end of this month. This will kick-off a 45-day public comment period and a series of public workshops and stakeholder engagements we will conduct on the Draft document. Releasing this draft now will set us on course to issue the Record of Decision (ROD) for this segment in about 13 months (Q1, 2021);
- Draft EIR/EIS for the Merced to San Jose segment will be released for public review and comment in March. Again, our regional team will engage the community on the draft and receive public comment on the draft document. This work is necessary for us to ultimately certify the Record of Decision by the 2nd quarter of 2021.
Update on DISC Station Planning in San Jose
I am pleased to report that we have reached a milestone in the Diridon Integrated Station Concept Plan process, which is a partnership between us, VTA, Caltrain and the City of San Jose to develop a vision for what the future Diridon station could be. At this point, we are wrapping up the first phase with Concept Layout that includes elevating the tracks, having two concourses at the station, and primarily utilizing the existing rail corridors north and south of the station consistent with the preferred alternatives adopted by this Board. We published this recommendation in November with the other agencies and after additional review, the San Jose City Council voted to accept it earlier this month. While this project is still early in its planning process, these preliminary concepts will be further developed and evaluated as we move onto the next phase of station planning work with our partners this year. We will report back to the Board on this effort as appropriate.
March Hearing in Los Angeles
At our next board meeting in Southern California we are working to bring forward to the Board a funding plan and analysis of our investment in the historic Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) project. We are currently working through technical issues and construction segmentation issues to ensure the investment is in California and the region’s best interest.