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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Five consortiums set to bid on California high-speed rail project


The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) released a short list of qualified bidders on construction contracts for the initial high-speed segment in the Fresno area, according to a Feb. 3 article posted on the Fresno Bee’s website. Provided the California Legislature approves bond funds for the segment’s construction, work would begin later this year.

Five teams will compete for the construction contract, which is expected to be worth between $1.5 billion and $2 billion. The teams are:

• California Backbone Builders, a consortium comprising Spanish construction firms Ferrovial Agroman and Acciona;
• California High-Speed Rail Partners, a consortium comprising Fluor Corp., Skanska, and PCL Constructors of Canada;
• California High-Speed Ventures, comprising Kiewit Corp., Granite Construction, and Comsa EMTE;
• a joint venture comprising Dragados, Flatiron Construction Corp. and Shimmick Construction; and
• a joint venture comprising Tutor Perini Corp., Zachry Construction and Parsons Corp.
The project includes building 12 street overcrossings or underpasses, two elevated viaducts, a tunnel and a bridge across the San Joaquin River. Track installation will be completed under a separate contract.

However, CHSRA has to clear several hurdles before it can award the first major construction project. Final environmental documents for two portions of the Central Valley segment — Merced-Fresno and Fresno-Bakersfield — must be approved before the authority. CHSRA plans to consider the Merced-Fresno environmental reports in May, but the Fresno-Bakersfield reports still are going through revisions.

In addition, the state Legislature has yet to approve nearly $3 billion in bond funds from Proposition 1A. In recent months, legislators have expressed concerns over the project, as have a peer review group, the state’s legislative analyst and the state auditor.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/6/2012