The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) has worked continuously with public agency and community stakeholders to incorporate refinements to the design that further avoid or minimize potential impacts to existing facilities, land uses, environmental resources and communities. As a result, in 2020 the Authority developed additional build alternatives to be included in the environmental review process.
These additional alternatives are based on the prior Build Alternatives Refined SR14, E1 and E2, but have been modified to reduce potential impacts to sensitive aquatic resources south of Palmdale, including Una Lake.
The additional build alternatives are referred to as SR14A, E1A and E2A. The prior alternatives of Refined SR14, E1 and E2 are included in the environmental review for a total of six build alternatives that are analyzed in the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIR/EIS). The Draft EIR/EIS addresses many topic areas, including traffic, air quality, noise, vibration, aesthetics and more.
State’s Preferred Alternative: SR14A
The alternative determined to best balance trade-offs between environmental, community, performance, operations, and cost-factors is known as the Preferred Alternative. For the Palmdale to Burbank Project Section, the State’s Preferred Alternative, SR14A, is approximately 38 miles long and connects the cities of Palmdale and Burbank. It will partially use the existing Metrolink right-of-way to the extent possible for approximately three miles in the San Fernando Valley. The Preferred Alternative would avoid crossing Una Lake and minimizes impacts to nearby wetlands. Trains operating along the Preferred Alternative would be fully underground through the community of Acton, the Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. SR14A is also underground where it crosses the Pacific Crest Trail, avoiding impacts to the trail. Through the northern portion of the San Fernando Valley, SR14A is in a tunnel and emerges near the Hansen Dam Spreading Grounds, and then follows the Metrolink/Union Pacific corridor to Burbank.