The plans to build a high speed rail line near the Los Angeles River and through Cypress Park and Glassell Park has drawn opposition from river advocates, including Councilman Ed Reyes. So, after several years of lobbying federal officials and state railway builders, engineers involved in with the California High-Speed Rail Authority Line are looking at possibly shifting the rail line away from the river. Instead, after leaving Union Station, the train, under one scenario, would travel through a tunnel underneath the state parking now taking shape near Chinatown, Dodger Stadium and Elysian Park before emerging on the other side of the river, Reyes said today. “They are going to very careful how they come up the river way,” Reyes said at a luncheon hosted by the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum. “At Union Station, they are going look at going underground … under the Cornfield, under Dodger Stadium, under Elysian Park and pop up on the other side of the 2 Freeway or at Taylor Yard” near Cypress Park.
The tunnel proposal remains just that, and no decision has been made on what the final route will be. The council office itself has not decided whether it would support the new route under Elysian Park, said Jill Sourial, the council office’s point person on Los Angeles River issues. Reyes just wanted other alternatives than the 100-foot-wide trenches and massive bridges the rail authority had been proposing, Sourial said. “Give us some reasonable alternative to just the straightest line between points A and B,” she said.
Tunneling would be an expensive proposition, Sourial concedes. But the underground option might reduce the money the agency would have to spend on building at-grade crossings and neighborhood projects required to reduce the impact of an above surface line in the area. Sourial said she believes the agency is serious about studying a tunnel but a final set of alternatives won’t be presented until a draft environmental report is presented.
Image from California High-Speed Rail Authority