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CHSRA launches design approvals for high-speed rail project

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor

Two key high-speed rail segments have now been approved for design.

The California High-Speed ​​Rail Authority (Authority) Board of Directors has approved contracts to advance the design of the 52.4 total miles that will extend the project to Merced and Bakersfield.

The contracts bring the project closer to building the final Central Valley sets that will complete the 171-mile electrified high-speed rail segment and ultimately connect to the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

“Taken together, these contracts reinforce the Authority’s efforts to have high-speed rail running through the heartland of California by the end of the decade,” said Authority Chairman Tom Richards. “These contracts demonstrate our ability to leverage lessons learned from past contracts, increase project readiness and prepare for continued progress on this transformative project.”

The Authority awarded the $41 million Merced to Madera extension design contract to Stantec Consulting Services Inc., which covers approximately 33.9 miles with 40 structures. The $44.9 million extension contract from Fresno to Bakersfield (Locally Generated Alternative) was awarded to HNTB and covers approximately 18.5 miles between the towns of Shafter and Bakersfield in Kern County with 31 structures. The contracts are expected to run for two years, and the two companies will work with the Authority to finalize the project configuration footprint and advance design work to refine cost and travel time improvements, and map right-of-way and relocation of public services. These critical milestones will bring construction sections closer together, with the goal of running electrified high-speed trains between Merced and Bakersfield by the end of the decade.

On August 18, the Council is expected to take action on the environmental document for the San Francisco-San Jose section, potentially finalizing environmental work on more than 420 miles of the 500-mile-long project.

The California high-speed rail project is currently under construction for 119 miles in California’s Central Valley at 35 active yards.

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