FRESNO, California (KGPE) – On Wednesday, The California High-Speed Rail met at Fresno City Hall to ask local businesses to help with the engineering and maintenance of the track.
When the rail was first announced, Central Fish Company was told it would only take a couple of years for the construction across the block.
Those two years have come and gone but businesses in China Town continue to stay optimistic.
“You know there is still hope,” said Central Fish Co. Owner Morgan Doizaki. “I am trying to be patient.”
The business has been in the Doizaki family since 1950.
Doizaki said since the construction in the nearby area, his business has taken a 10% sales hit.
“It is hard to get to Central Fish right now,” said Doizaki. “I hear that from customers all the time.”
Due to pending agreements with freight lines, utility companies, and Union Pacific the project has taken had some setbacks.
“Those things took a little bit longer with negotiations,” said High-Speed Rail Toni Tinoco. “So we are trying to accelerate those, get through them, and get to our goal.”
According to Tinoco, the goal is to finish all heavy infrastructure from Merced to Bakersfield by 2022 and be ridership ready by 2029.
“This is a failure,” said Councilmember Garry Bredefeld. “It will be a failure in the end. We should just stop it.”
Councilmember Miguel Arias disagreed with his colleague and pointed to the $240 million spent in infrastructure to revamp areas like the downtown bridge.
“For those naysayers who don’t support the project,” said Councilmember Miguel Arias. “They are very quick to accept the money and the benefits of those investments.”
Doizaki still has hope that once finished, the project will bring in more foot traffic to China Town.
“You know, there is still hope and I am trying to be patient,” he said. “Let’s get this process started.”