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The Surface Transportation Board (STB) earlier this week approved California's plan for a 114-mile high-speed rail line between Fresno and Bakersfield, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) announced yesterday.The STB's authorization is subject to certain environmental mitigation conditions, authority officials said in a note posted on CHSRA's website. The mitigation measures include a condition that the authority build the high-speed line designated by the Federal Railroad Administration as the environmentally preferable route, according to the STB.The Fresno-Bakersfield segment will be the second phase of the state's larger high-speed rail line that would extend 500 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles.Meanwhile, the authority also announced that its board has awarded a project and construction management contract to ARCADIS U.S. Inc. The contract covers a 60-mile section of rail from Fresno to the Tulare-Kern County line.As an additional layer of project oversight, the firm will work with the authority and the yet-to-be-selected design-build contractor to identify, manage and mitigate project risks and ensure technical and contract requirements are met. Under the contract, ARCADIS could receive up to $71.86 million based on actual work performed over a five-year period, CHSRA officials said in a press release.
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