High-Speed Rail

High-speed rail meetings set in Madera, Merced

Meetings next week in Madera and Merced are set to let farmers, business owners and residents know what to expect as the California High-Speed Rail Authority begins buying land for the first section of its planned high-speed train system.

The first approved portion of the route runs from downtown Merced to downtown Fresno, and construction is proposed to begin next year between Madera and Fresno. Between 400 and 500 parcels are likely to be needed for the Madera-Fresno section, the authority estimated.

The meetings are:

Madera: 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Madera Community College Center forum hall, 30277 Avenue 12.

Merced: 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Merced College Business Resource Center, 630 W. 19th St.

The open-house sessions will feature booths with information on land-acquisition issues, as well as job opportunities and ways that small businesses can get involved in the rail project.

From 5:30 to 6 p.m. each evening, there will be presentations by authority CEO Jeffrey Morales, vice chairman Tom Richards and Central Valley regional director Diana Gomez, a Fresno State graduate who joined the authority in October after 25 years with Caltrans.

Details: (866) 761-7755 or email merced_fresno@hsr.ca.gov.