Several serious concerns emerged this week about the impact of California’s planned bullet train on Hollywood Burbank Airport, Burbank’s water supply and a massive commercial development if construction proceeds on a proposed 13.7-mile route through the area.
Despite the issues, the California High-Speed Rail Authority approved its route plan on Thursday. In a series of unanimous votes, the board certified environmental documents that would establish the project’s future path from Burbank to downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station, which would include two tracks and a 50-foot deep underground station near the Hollywood Burbank Airport — when and if funding is in hand.
State officials said they had carefully considered impacts along the route, a process that had taken 15 years, and that it was time to certify the documents. The rail authority asserts the project would reduce air pollution, cut energy consumption, reduce congestion, improve transportation and boost the economy. The segment would cost $4.3 billion to build, including the train station that would be about 200 feet from a future airport passenger terminal and about two miles of tunnels near Burbank.
South of Burbank, the route would be located along an existing right of way used by Metrolink. A future bike path would have to be rerouted. Sound walls would help reduce but not eliminate significant noise impacts. Twelve residences and 133 businesses will be taken, the document indicates. Several new grade separations along the route would eliminate rail crossings and some other streets would be closed.
Read the full story on LATimes.com.