Merced to Fresno - Central Valley Wye

The Central Valley Wye serves as the backbone of the high-speed rail system connecting the San Francisco Bay Area to Southern California. The Merced to Fresno project section, where the Central Valley Wye is located, generally parallels State Route 99 through the northern stretch of the San Joaquin Valley from the city of Merced to the city of Fresno. The Central Valley Wye is located near the City of Chowchilla and will serve as the junction for the high-speed rail system connecting San Jose to Fresno, San Jose to Merced, and Merced to Fresno. These connections allow travelers to reach destinations in the direction of San Francisco, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) Board of Directors certified the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIR/EIS) for the Merced to Fresno project section in May 2012. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued the Record of Decision in September 2012. At that time, the Board determined that Central Valley Wye alternatives should be further developed and evaluated in a subsequent environmental analysis. Since 2012, the Authority has worked with Central Valley stakeholders and agencies to identify a range of alignment alternatives for the Central Valley Wye. The Authority considered input from stakeholders and regulatory agencies and used it to prepare the Merced to Fresno Project Section: Central Valley Wye Alternatives Supplemental Alternatives Analysis Report in April 2013. This alternatives analysis included an evaluation of 14 alternatives, which were narrowed down to four alternatives. After further consultation with regulatory agencies, the Authority staff refined these alternatives and recommended in August 2014 that three of the four be subject to more detailed evaluation in a Supplemental EIR/EIS.

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