Five Bids Received for Second Construction Phase
The California High Speed Rail Authority is moving ahead with its plans for the second phase of HSR construction in the Central Valley – a 60 mile segment from Fresno to the Tulare-Kern County line. Five bids have been received:
• California Rail Builders: Ferrovial Agroman US Corp. and Granite Construction Company
• Dragados/Flatiron/Shimmick: Dragados USA, Inc., Flatiron West Inc. and Shimmick Construction Co., Inc.
• Golden State Rail Partnership: OHL USA, Inc. and Samsung E&C America, Inc.
• Skanska-Ames a Joint Venture: Skanska USA Civil West California District Inc. and Ames Construction, Inc.
• Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, a Joint Venture: Tutor Perini Corporation, Zachry Construction Corporation and Parsons Transportation Group Inc.
The last one, of course, was the winning bidder for the first construction segment in Fresno.
The Authority’s press release includes some more details of this construction project, estimated to cost between $1.5 and $2 billion:
The Authority will now review the applications and establish a list of the most highly qualified firms to provide design-build services for the project. Firms will be selected based on experience, technical competency, ability to perform and other factors. The qualified firms will then be eligible to submit formal design-build proposals in 2014.
The selected design-build firm will be responsible for delivering final designs for bridges, culverts, trenches and tunnels, utility relocations, aerial structures, grade separations, security and drainage. The environmental clearance for the route is already underway and is anticipated to be final by summer 2014.
The $1.5 to $2 billion design-build contract will bring thousands of jobs to the Central Valley, an area with one of the highest unemployment rates in California and the nation. The route will also provide environmental benefits, relieve roadway congestion and spur economic development.
It will be interesting to see if this plays out differently than the previous bidding process. Some of the review criteria were changed before bids were submitted for the first construction segment, leading to some controversy after the Tutor bid was selected despite having the lowest technical score.
What matters most is that this is another sign of progress toward construction of the HSR project in the Central Valley. And despite some of the recent legal setbacks, that progress continues.