A relatively dry winter will delay final selection of a route for the North County Corridor by at least a year.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has rejected studies based on surveys of properties being considered for route options, said Matt Machado, public works director for Stanislaus County. There wasn't enough rain over the winter to make numbers meaningful, scientists decided.
That means redoing studies in the coming rainy season, at greater cost, with a draft environmental document pushed at least a year beyond this fall. The California Department of Transportation commissioners, initially expected to choose a final alignment in early 2014, won't vote until at least 2015.