The High-Speed Rail Authority’s (the “Authority”) monthly Board of Directors meeting in Sacramento is scheduled for tomorrow, June 6, 2013. Many supporters and opponents of the High-Speed Rail Project (the “Project”) have been waiting anxiously for this meeting because the previously released agenda indicated that the Board would approve a rail alignment between Fresno and Shafter. However, the action item for this approval has been mysteriously removed from the agenda as disclosed by an amended agenda released on June 3.
The initial construction of the Project was slated to extend from Merced to Bakersfield, but after much opposition, the Authority decided to limit the initial construction of the first segment from Fresno to the City of Shafter. The Authority decided to delay construction from Shafter to Bakersfield to provide those cities with an opportunity to collaborate with staff to determine a less disruptive route between the two cities. Media outlets are speculating that the Authority has delayed this decision in order to reverse its collaborative policy and once again extend the initial construction from Merced to Bakersfield, as originally decided. However, the Authority has not yet released a statement disclosing the reasons behind the removal of the action item.