Letters to the Editor

Exciting developments in high-speed rail

Earlier this month, California submitted its application for federal stimulus funding for high-speed rail. The application requests more than $4.7 billion for the engineering, design and construction of the state's high-speed train system. And that is good news for our state and for Fresno!

As we consider the economic development options our state and region have, it is clear that the high-speed train project will have a significant role.

With unemployment at record levels throughout the state and our Valley, the high-speed train project will be an economic "shot in the arm" by providing much-needed jobs. Statewide, the project will provide 600,000 new construction-related jobs to build the system, with demand for an additional 450,000 permanent jobs statewide once the system is fully built out.

Regarding the federal economic stimulus funding, California's application includes Valley sections of the project (from Merced to Fresno and Fresno to Bakersfield), and is expected to create 27,000 new jobs in the region involving the construction of grade separations, guideway structures, utility relocation, earthwork and track laying.

As the president of the Economic Development Corporation serving Fresno County, there is no better job generator than the high-speed train project; our Valley communities will benefit from the investment.

Steve Geil

President/CEO

Economic Development Corporation

Fresno

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