OK – picture this… As California’s High-Speed train approaches the northern entrance to Fresno, passengers peer from the windows and are greeted by the modern architecture of the Arthur Dyson-designed Aquarium set into the restored bluff landscape overlooking the restored San Joaquin River just before the train banks over Highway 99. In the 5 minutes remaining before arriving at the glass-roofed downtown Fresno station, the commuters are already buzzing about their planned visits to the Aquarium and other activities in and around Fresno, which has become California’s Year-Round Playground.
A map just released at the Madera Fairgrounds and photographed by the Madera Tribune on Thursday depicts three possible routes – all of which rejoin the Union Pacific right-of-way just north of our future Aquarium property. According to the Madera Tribune, proposed Route A-3 caused the most angst for area farmers and water officials because it showed the trains cutting through prime farmland. However, the California High-Speed Rail Authority may ultimately choose this alternative because it is far less expensive than building through cities and denser existing development. From what we could determine from the map, it appears that Route A-3 arches over the corner of the Aquarium property before crossing Highway 99.