California awards $1.36 Billion High-Speed Rail Contract


The California High-Speed Rail Authority has awarded a new contract for the high speed rail expansion project going on in that state. The $1.36 billion contract will go to Dragados/Flatiron/Shimmick. The three rail companies submitted a $1.2 billion bid for the work as a consortium.

The contract will account for work on the second segment of the high-speed rail line connecting through the central San Joaquin Valley south of Fresno to the Tulare-Kern county line. This is a follow-on investment from a 2013 contract of approximately $1 billion for a section of the rail line between Fresno and Madera.

High-speed rail has seen renewed activity in California, following an October court decision to allow a line connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco proceed, as Civsource reported at the time. This next round of work will expand the high-speed rail network and relocate parts of the utilities infrastructure.

As with nearly every major project in California, high-speed rail has met with some opposition from local environmental and neighborhood groups. State funding for a project of this scale is also on shakey ground as budget items for the totality of the project have yet to be approved.

Still, California could be a model for how to build out high-speed rail lines. The state was one of the first to pursue this type of infrastructure project and now other states are leading studies of their own. Officials in Western Massachusetts are looking at the possibility of extending a high-speed rail line from Springfield to Boston. In Texas, officials there are considering a Houston to Dallas route.