Enviro group drops suit, Metrolink's Riverside rail extension project to go ahead

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A conductor steps down from the engine of a Metrolink train on Sept. 15, 2008 in Chatsworth.

An environmental group in Riverside County has reached a settlement and dropped its lawsuit challenging a multimillion-dollar commuter rail project, removing an obstacle to completion of the 24-mile commuter rail extension from Riverside to the city of Perris — called the Perris Valley Line. 

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported that the environmental group, Friends of Riverside's Hills, agreed to drop its legal fight in exchange for $3 million in concessions:  

John Standiford, deputy executive director [of the Riverside County Transportation Commission], said construction on the addition to Metrolink’s six-county system likely will begin in late summer or fall, after the agency secures final approval for a $75 million federal grant and the suit is withdrawn. With the work expected to take 15 months, the line could open in early 2015.

The group had opposed the plan to build a Riverside-to-Perris extension of the Metrolink regional train system.

The money will pay for noise-reduction methods and bike and hiking trails.

The $237 million rail extension is part of the Metrolink regional train system.

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