SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) Board of Directors certified the final environment clearance and unanimously approved the 90-mile rail from San Jose to Merced project, state officials said in a press release this week.

The high-speed rail project is closer to being “shovel-ready” for when pre-construction and construction funding becomes available, the Authority said. The rail will make the trip from Fresno to San Jose in just one hour, compared to three hours by driving.

Proposed 90-mile high-speed rail route from San Jose to Merced.

The announcement marks the Authority’s first section within the statewide rail project to be environment-certified in the Northern California region and the first in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to officials.

Officials said the news also completes environmental clearance for nearly 400 miles of the project’s 500-mile Phase 1 alignment from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim. The approval makes this statewide rail project a step closer to completion.

“Today’s approval represents another major milestone and brings us one step closer to delivering high-speed rail between the Silicon Valley and the Central Valley,” California High-Speed Rail Authority CEO Brian Kelly said in the release. “The Authority is poised to make the vision of high-speed rail in the Bay Area a reality. We look forward to continued collaboration with our federal, state and local partners to advance the project in Northern California.”

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s full press release can be seen here.