High-speed rail board defends route in letter to Vidak

The Fresno BeeNovember 5, 2013 

GMK VIDAK

Newly elected State Senator Andy Vidak listens to speeches before being sworn in by Tulare County Superior Court Judge Gary M. Johnson at downtown Hanford's Courthouse Park Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013 in Hanford, Calif.

GARY KAZANJIAN — THE FRESNO BEE Buy Photo

The California High-Speed Rail Authority on Wednesday made public a letter addressed to state Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, a critic of high-speed rail.

The Nov. 4 letter was signed by Dan Richard, chair of the board of directors, and is a response to a letter that Vidak sent Nov. 1 about holding the Authority's meeting, at which the Fresno-to-Bakersfield route is expected to be approved, in Sacramento on Thursday.

It's a "misconception" that the east-of-Hanford alignment being recommended by Authority staff is a "new" route, when it has been one of several alternatives since July 2012, the letter said.

Additionally, to get public opinion, the Authority staff has held several public outreach events in cities along the Fresno to Bakersfield, sought government and private sector views, and "reached out" to property owners along proposed routes, the letter said.

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