HSR Project Moves Forward

Published 07/14 2014 11:35PM

Updated 07/14 2014 11:37PM

An excavator sunk its teeth into Annie’s Hollywood Inn near Highway 99 and McKinley in Fresno on Monday.
Norman Cooper calls it a step toward cleaning up the community.
“It’s a good thing. It's a beautiful thing,” said Norman Cooper, who lives in the neighborhood.
The demolition of the vacant bar is the first building to be torn down to make way for the High Speed Rail project.
“You are going to start seeing a lot more field work for the next couple days. You're going to see more buildings demolished,” said Diana Gomez, Central Valley Regional Director of the High Speed Rail Authority.
Central Valley Regional Director of High Speed Rail, Diana Gomez, says this work is part of the first phase, which will create a 29-mile long rail line between Madera and Fresno Counties.
“Public opinion has really taken a dive on High Speed Rail now that they have the details,” said Fresno Co. Supervisor Debbie Poochigian.
Fresno County Supervisor, Debbie Poochigian, opposes the $68 billion project.  She says High Speed Rail is not beneficial to the Central Valley.
At Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting, she will ask the board if it would like to vote to take an official position against the project.
"We have water infrastructure we could use this money, we have existing transportation, education and public safety. There are so many places that are really top priorities," said Poochigian.
If you drive through Highway 99 in Fresno near Herndon Avenue you can't miss a set of huge cranes. This is actually a staging area for High Speed Rail's construction equipment.
Thousands of jobs are expected to be created during the six phases of construction which will run through the year 2022.
"So you will start seeing some of that equipment start rolling, specifically to relocate some of the utilities in the path of the high speed train," said Gomez.

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