gmhTODAY 21 gmhToday Aug Sept 2018 - Page 62

intense ground vibration, less noise along the railway and in nearby buildings, and more safety around railway/street crossings. Multiply that combined benefit times an hourly or twice-hourly train schedule, and you can see the significance. “With the UPRR alignment, the rail would be at ground level,” Lipkin said. “We will look at types of fencing along corridor, and quad gates at intersections [gates on both sides of the intersection]. Cities can apply for quiet zones to request that trains don’t blow their horns. We will look at mitigation of noise.” When asked if sound walls are necessary, Lipkin added, “This has not been determined yet.” RIGHT-OF-WAY & PROPERTY VALUES In June, Lipkin visited South County at the invitation of the City of Gilroy and the Gilroy Chamber of 62 Commerce for a workshop about the Authority’s right-of-way process. In other words, their process to evaluate, appraise, and acquire properties in the right-of-way of the approved HSR alignment. By law, the Authority must purchase private property that falls within the approved high-speed rail right-of-way, and must do so without infringing on property owners’ rights. Lipkin said the process of evaluating property impacts, appraisal of fair market value, and compensation of property owners will be done on a parcel-by-parcel basis between right-of-way agents and landowners. Owners are promised fair market value for their property, but acquisition cannot begin until the Environmental Impact Report is complete and the FRA issues a Record of Decision. The Authority anticipates that will be in “late 2020.” The State of California GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 Government Claims Board will review claims such as loss of property value before, during, and after high-speed rail construction. THE FUNDING When it comes to funding, Lipkin explained that “with big infrastructure projects it’s normal to accrue funds over time. We have funds to complete the line from San Francisco to Gilroy now, as well as finishing current con- struction in the Central Valley. We don’t yet have funds for tunneling through Pacheco Pass.” “We are still looking at the Gilroy rail station, and what an interim ser- vice would look like,” Lipkin said. “It might be a San Francisco to Gilroy service initially and then connect later from Gilroy south to other parts of the state. We’ll look at that, and at how Caltrain wants to serve customers, as a blended service.