People who would like to offer input on ideas for retail, housing and other space around Merced’s future high-speed rail station will have the chance to do so at a workshop Tuesday.
The session, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., is the second organized by the city’s consultant, Hatch Mott MacDonald. The event will be held at Merced Senior Community Center, 755 W. 15th St.
As with the first workshop, held in February, organizers will set up tables where attendees can learn about three options being considered, said Frank Quintero, Merced’s director of economic development.
“It’s going to be an explanation of what these alternatives of land use are,” he said.
Participants will be able to share their thoughts on which is the best option.
It’s going to be an explanation of what these alternatives of land use are.
Frank Quintero, Merced director of economic development
The February workshop gathered general ideas and feelings about how much or little should change in the area when the stop goes up in Merced. The second meeting is supposed to pick up where the last one left off, according to Quintero.
The plans are just beginning for the half-mile radius around the stop, which is proposed for near 16th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
The path has been a bumpy one for Merced’s station. In the span of about three months, Merced’s stop went from being part of the initial plans, to being off the list, to being added back in.
The workshop is 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Merced Senior Community Center, 755 W. 15th St.
In February, the board announced a revision to its business plan that would bypass Merced in the first part of the rail’s construction, leaving the city without a stop until 2029. But in April, the authority recommended a proposal that marked Merced as the starting point of the Central Valley section that would end in Wasco, instead of Shafter, near Bakersfield.
The plans detailed in February reflected the political realities that have confronted the project in the years since 2008, when voters approved selling nearly $10 billion in bonds for a high-speed rail network linking Northern and Southern California. The last business plan, approved in 2014, called for the entire 520-mile system to be finished in 2028 at a cost of $68 billion.
While Fresno began construction work on its station in 2015, Merced is still developing a planning document. Both stations are to be open in 2025.