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California High-Speed Rail's Second Construction Contract: $1.36 Billion

A week after the groundbreaking ceremony for California's beleaguered high speed rail project, a second construction contract has been awarded. The rail authority will now build 29 miles north and 65 miles south of Fresno to the Kern County line.
January 16, 2015, 8am PST | Irvin Dawid
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The winning bid went to Dragados/Flatiron/Shimmick, a consortium of three companies, reports Tim Sheehan of The Fresno Bee.

The team is comprised of Dragados USA Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spain’s Grupo ACS and Dragados S.A.; Flatiron West Inc. of the Southern California city of San Marcos; and Shimmick Construction Co. of Oakland.

The 60-mile route from Fresno goes through Fresno County to Kings Countywhere the authority is still embroiled in litigation notwithstanding their recent win at the state Supreme Court—through Tulare County to the Kern County line.

The Jan. 6 groundbreaking in Fresno officially commenced construction of the initial segment from Fresno to Madera [see map—PDF]. That 29-mile section was awarded in 2013 to Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons for about $1 billion, reports Sheehan. Questions were raised concerning that award.

See the High-Speed Rail Authority map [PDF] showing how the construction is split into packages from Merced to Bakersfield.

On another part of the San Francisco to Los Angeles route, the High-Speed Rail Authority encountered stiff opposition in the form of a rally. Dan Weikel, transportation reporter for the Los Angeles Times, writes that about 2,000 people gathered in a church in the eastern San Fernando Valley to oppose a planned 35-mile route through Angeles National Forest.

Residents are concerned that their property values could decline or the semi-rural setting of the area and ecology of the national forest could be hurt, including the disruption of valuable watersheds.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 in The Fresno Bee
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