[KHTS] – Before drafting an environmental impact report for the Palmdale-to-Los Angeles section of the California High Speed Rail, the Rail Authority will conduct an open house at Hart Park on Thursday.
The California High Speed Rail Authority is looking at a number of alignments for the 60-mile Palmdale-to-Los Angeles section of the project.
On Thursday, representatives from the Rail Authority will host a meeting at William S. Hart Park in Newhall to hear community feedback on proposed routes that could pass through the Santa Clarita Valley.
The Hart Park meeting is the last of five meetings that the Rail Authority has held since May 20 between Palmdale and Los Angeles.
It will be an open house style meeting from 5 to 8 p.m., with a formal presentation at 6:30 p.m.
The purpose of the meetings is to determine which alignments the Rail Authority will study in their Environmental Impact Report, said Spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley.
“There have been a number of different tunneling alignment options that we’ve looked at in Santa Clarita,” she said.
Back in October 2013, a delegation of city officials attended a meeting with the Rail Authority board of directors, expressing their support for a two-mile underground tunnel or a route that would bypass the SCV altogether.
Santa Clarita officials would prefer the route avoid the Santa Clarita Valley altogether, said Councilwoman Marsha McLean at the time, because it’s proposed path doesn’t stop anywhere in the SCV, while essentially holding land development, businesses and schools hostage.
“The way the route is supposed right now, we would get all of the impact and none of the benefit,” she said.
At the most recent Rail Authority board meeting, the board discussed alternative alignments for both Santa Clarita and the Acton Agua Dulce area.
The Santa Clarita North alignment would employ a tunnel south of Interstate 5 in Canyon Country, near Lost Canyon and Oak Springs Canyon Roads.
The Santa Clarita South alignment would follow a similar route but use at grade tracks and bridges before proceeding into a tunnel, according to a Rail Authority map.
In Acton and Agua Dulce the SR 14 Hybrid route and the SR 14 East route pass on either side of Sierra Highway and both employ tunnels, but the SR 14 East route includes a longer portion of at grade tracks and a bridge south of Sierra Highway.
The last meeting held by the Rail Authority in Palmdale on May 29 attracted 125 people, Alley said, and they are expecting a good turnout at Hart Park.
“I think the feedback to date from the city of Santa Clarita is that they appreciate us working with them and looking at the options that have the least impact to the community,” Alley said.
For more information about this meeting and further developments with California High Speed Rail, click here or call 213-802-1113 or 916-324-1541.
About Michelle Boehm
Southern California Regional Director, California High-Speed Rail Authority
As Southern California Regional Director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Michelle Boehm oversees all aspects of project development in the region. In her role with the Authority, she chairs a regional transportation CEO group focused on high-speed rail issues and participates in the Regional Rail Partner’s Working Group which focuses on passenger rail planning in California.
Boehm brings nearly 20 years of experience in transportation planning and policy analysis. Before joining the Authority, she was a Vice President with one of the largest Architectural and Engineering firms in the Country. In that role, Boehm was the regional manager responsible for overseeing business development, strategic planning, and public agency and community outreach for projects throughout Southern California. Recent planning documents of note Boehm collaborated on are the I-15 Corridor System Master Plan and several Conceptual Study Reports for the San Pedro Waterfront, the I-710 Corridor, and Alameda Corridor East. She worked directly with agencies including the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Port of Los Angeles, California Department of Transportation, Nevada Department of Transportation, San Diego Association of Governments, Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority, and several local Cities to deliver these, and other notable regional projects.
Over the course of her career Boehm has proven her ability as a business manager and strategic planner, having developed strategy for transportation, water, geotechnical, structural, and environmental engineering and planning practice development and projects. She established a small business outreach program for a former employer in close coordination with the Los Angeles Minority Business Opportunity Council to support the contracting goals of clients including City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She also collaborated on several large, successful architectural projects including the Oregon State University Football Stadium Renovation, and the San Francisco 49ers Stadium Replacement, to name a few.
Always demonstrating her passion for transportation, Boehm also held leadership positions in several local industry organizations. As a founding member and former advisory board member for Mobility 21, a coalition of elected officials and transportation providers, she pursued solutions to transportation issues in Southern California. She also serves as a Director-at-Large on the Board of the Women’s Transportation Seminar.