Sunday , June 23 2024

High Speed Rail Breaks Ground in Downtown Fresno

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History was made in the Central Valley Tuesday as ground was officially broke on California’s high speed rail. Hundreds of federal, state, county and city leaders gathered in Downtown Fresno to commemorate the beginning of the nation’s first ever bullet train. The train is set to link Fresno to Northern and Southern California, traveling at speeds of more than 200 miles per hour.<br /><br />&nbsp;The ceremony was held at the corner of Tulare and G Street in an empty lot where the future Fresno high speed rail station is set to operate in downtown.<br /><br /> All eyes were on Fresno Tuesday.<br /><br /> Governor Jerry Brown says, &quot;A train is sociable, it’s amenable, it’s the future and it’s happening right here in Fresno, California.&quot;<br /><br /> After a two year delay, the official groundbreaking of California’s high speed rail and a ceremonial rail signing,&nbsp; kicked off.<br /><br /> High Speed Rail Authority Chairman Dan Richards says, &quot;Now we build.&quot;<br /><br /> Supporters can’t wait.<br /><br /> Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin says, &quot;Let’s get it done.&quot;<br /><br /> The high speed rail project has been anything but high speed. Governor Brown first signed legislation on the plan 35 years ago.<br /><br /> Its projected to be in full use by 2028. The first stretch of tracks will run from Madera to Fresno, eventually connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles and cutting that drive time in half.<br /><br /> Congressman Jim Costa (D) says, &quot; I will ride, you will ride, we will ride into the future of the 21st century.&quot;<br /><br /> The bullet train is slated to drive in $1.8 billion in revenue to small businesses across the state. Fresno business owner Paul Katchadourian has already hired 17 extra employees to help remove hazardous waste from acquired property.<br /><br /> Paul Katchadourian, owner of Katch Environmental, says &quot;High speed rail is the only reason why we were able to do this.&nbsp; It has given me and my company the opportunity to grow and invest.&quot;<br /><br /> Demolition has already started in Downtown Fresno, making way for tracks and a high speed rail station at Tulare and G streets.&nbsp; High speed rail has overcome many environmental and legal challenges, but what’s still up in the air is funding for the $68 billion project.<br /><br /> Costa says, &quot;Projects are funded and constructed based upon money as you’re able to build it and that’s been the history of major infrastructure projects.&quot;<br /><br /> Costa says if California waits to have full funding on most of its major projects, nothing would be built in the state. He also went on to compare the controversial bullet train with the Golden Gate Bridge and various water projects, saying all of those projects were heavily criticised before they were constructed.<br /><br /> High Speed Rail Authority officials were unable to give specific information about when or how much it will cost to build a high speed rail station in downtown Fresno.<br /><br /> Opponents argue the project has changed drastically since it was first introduced and has more than doubled in cost.&nbsp; Many say California should be focusing on thinhs like water and education before building a high speed rail system. <div><br /></div><div></div></div>

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