PALMDALE – Today Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, appeared in front of the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors in opposition of the S-14 surface route from Palmdale to Burbank and in favor of the tunnel alternative through the San Gabriel Mountains. Wilk made the following statement:
“…As you no doubt heard in your prior scoping meetings regarding the proposed Palmdale-to-Burbank line, the communities in my district are strongly opposed to the SR-14 route even if they are supportive of the overall High Speed Rail Project.
The S-14 surface alignment would wreak havoc on the quality of life of those existing communities as it would eliminate homes, devastate neighborhoods, local schools, churches, as well as planned community developments already in the works.
Additionally, it is becoming increasingly clear environmental damage and a disruption of key business sectors would occur, particularly during the construction phase. Negative impacts such a noise, vibration, air quality, and traffic congestion will affect both commerce and residents' quality of life.
Choosing this route would quash the film and television industry, and could possibly pose a national security risk as SR-14 serves as the main artery between regional military installations such as China Lake Naval Weapons Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Pt. Magu Naval Base and Los Angeles Air Force Base.
Accordingly, I would suggest you consider dropping the SR-14 surface alignment alternative as soon as your environmental review process will allow, so as to hasten the selection of the preferred alignment through the San Gabriel Mountains. To do so will, I believe, remove crippling community opposition and allow the possibility of the high speed rail project, and process to continue. “
The 38th Assembly District encompasses Simi Valley, the northwestern section of the San Fernando Valley and most of the Santa Clarita Valley.