An expensive high-speed rail tunnel project through downtown San Jose or a cheaper, and noisier, 60-foot above ground track is being debated by the City Council.
City staff is recommending an above ground track, which would take three to five years to build. A tunnel project could take seven years and cost $2.5 billion, five times more than the above ground proposal.
California High-Speed Rail Authority must give the city of San Jose a written agreement with the right to approve or reject any above ground rail plan.
Mayor Chuck Reed and three council members say if such a deal isn't struck with the authority by Oct. 1, the city will request a full study of the underground alignment.
The council takes up the high-speed rail issue at Tuesday night's City Council meeting.