Airport's Lawsuit Could Stop California High Speed Rail in its Tracks

The Hollywood Burbank Airport has done what no one in the Los Angeles area had dared to do: sue the California High Speed Rail project.

March 9, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A picture of two street signs with the Hollywood Burbank and hills int he background.

The Hollywood Burbank Airport. | Robert Steensen / Shutterstock

The Hollywood Burbank Airport has filed a lawsuit that could delay the California High Speed Rail project—it's the first such lawsuit in the Los Angeles region, although the project has previously attracted other forms of opposition.

"The suit alleges that the rail authority’s plans for tracks and an underground station near the airport could affect its operations and safety," reports Ralph Vartabedia for the Los Angeles Times. "It asks the state agency to reformulate its designs with a new environmental impact report that it would circulate for public comment."

The news of the lawsuit broke the same day that the California High Speed Rail Authority published the environmental impact review (EIR) for a key section of the project in Northern California. An EIR for the Burbank to downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station section of the project, approved by the California High-Speed Rail Authority in January 2022, triggered the lawsuit from the Hollywood Burbank Airport.

"If the airport succeeds in asserting the rail plan would harm its operations, it is unclear what mitigations the rail authority would be forced to make and how much delay it would cause," reports Vartabedia. "In the worst case, the suit could force the rail authority to move its right of way, requiring a new environmental analysis and considerable additional costs."

More details on where the Burbank to Downtown Los Angeles section fits into the planning and construction timeline for the beleaguered project are included in the source article below.

Friday, February 25, 2022 in Los Angeles Times

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