Madera neighborhood nearly inaccessible due to High-Speed Rail construction

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Emotions ran high Thursday night at a High-Speed Rail meeting in Madera.

Many people there were outraged that a portion of the project has closed a major road for years now.

"If we needed a fire truck, ambulance tough luck," said Madera resident Cindy Chidlaw Diaz.

That is what Leslie Matias says was the reality for her husband.

"Two years ago my husband had an asthma attack and we called the ambulance it took a while to get there because they had to go all the way around and my husband passed away," said Matias.

With only one way to get around, some are asking for a temporary access road until the overpass is built.

"There are times when the BNSF arms come down and you have no access in this subdivision that is unacceptable," said Madera County District 2 Supervisor David Rogers.

High-speed rail officials say they hear the concerns and they are working ways to implement suggestions.

"Providing a second access that may not be doable. The other ideas was you can go ahead and pave over Country Club Drive. So every suggestion we heard we're going to take it to the table," said Diana Gomez with the High-Speed Rail Authority.

But with little progress after a similar meeting last August, most feel one way about the project.

"I think it needs to be totally stopped," said one resident.

Gomez says they are reviewing designs with the water company, PG&E, and AT&T. She says after that is done, construction will continue.

High-speed rail says they are aiming for next summer as the projected date to reopen the road.
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