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After signing the construction contract for the first 29 miles of a high-speed rail from Madera to Fresno, Calif., the California High-Speed Rail Authority late last week called for contractors to submit their qualifications to bid on the next 60-mile phase of construction from Fresno south to the Tulare-Kern County line near Bakersfield.The authority formally posted a Request for Qualifications for Construction Package 2-3 (CP 2-3). Firms will have until Dec. 6 to submit their applications, authority officials said in a press release.The authority will review the applications, then prepare a short list of the most highly qualified firms to provide design-build services for the $1.5 billion to $2 billion project. Short-listed firms will be eligible to submit formal design-build proposals in 2014.The chosen firm will be responsible for all work required to design and construct the CP 2-3 segment in the Central Valley. Work will include delivering final designs for bridges, culverts, trenches and tunnels, utility relocations, aerial structures, grade separations, tunnels, security and drainage. Environmental clearance for the route is under way and anticipated to be completed by summer 2014, authority officials said.