Saturday, June 18, 2011

Palmdale threatens to sue CA-HSR


An older story this past week for the City of Palmdale is threatening to sue the CA-HSR over the "realigning" story that has surfaced now, regarding re-evaluating the costs of bringing the route through the Grapevine and to Santa Clarita, instead of the tunneling along the I-14 corridor.

If the CA-HSR does re-align the route... this could end the proposed rumors of DX considering extending to Pamldale.

Ditzhazy said a Bakersfield-to-Palmdale-to-Los Angeles route has been in planned for more than eight years and was listed in the $10 billion bond measure 1A voters approved in 2008 to fund a high speed rail project. He said Palmdale sits at the confluence of the proposed high speed rail line, a Metrolink commuter line and a proposed privately funded high speed rail to Las Vegas.
Ditzhazy said two previous studies—one in 1994 by Caltrans and one in 2003 by the City of Palmdale—found that the risks of delays, cost overruns and geological challenges were much higher on a Grapevine route.
“It should comes as no surprise that the Antelope Valley residents and businesses are outraged by the authority’s recent decision to waste $700,000 of the taxpayers’ money to ‘revisit’ and ‘reanalyze’ the I-5 Grapevine route,” Ditzhazy wrote, asking for a response by June 10


Basically, the Palmdale to Burbank section is facing increasingly high costs as it becomes clear that a lot more tunneling will be needed in the Soledad Canyon area along the CA-14 corridor. And that is causing the Authority to explore the Grapevine alignment again:
The Grapevine alignment had previously been discarded in favor of a route through Soledad Canyon over the Tehachapi Mountains crossing further to the east. That route would pass through Antelope Valley to Palmdale and on to Los Angeles. In earlier studies, the Grapevine route was dropped from consideration due to seismic issues and perceived high costs along I-5.

But after further study, the Authority operations committee is suggesting a new look at the I-5 corridor that could cut costs of this leg of the statewide system by “billions,” according to a staff report.
Further study of the Soledad Canyon option through the Antelope Valley found the need to build long tunnel sections and elevated structures, “substantially” raising costs from earlier estimates, according to the report.

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