California’s high-speed rail agency is set to award two more construction segments.
Property acquisitions, or lack thereof, have killed the momentum of California’s high-speed rail project.
So, for the next round of contract awards, the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is going to be a game changer.
Council will meet Feb. 17 and vote to ask contractors to submit their qualifications for initial design work for a 34-mile project that covers the northern edge of Madera to downtown Merced and a 19-mile segment from Shafter to Bakersfield.
CHSRA would like successful bidders for these two separate works to provide information on how they plan to deliver the work on time. Completion of the two projects, combined with work already done to connect Madera to Fresno, Fresno to Tulare-Kern, and Tulare-Kern to Shafter, would form what the agency calls the backbone of California’s high-speed rail line. .
In the past, the CHSRA allowed contractors to use the design-build delivery method, and problems and delays occurred when the necessary property was not acquired on time. Contracts up to tender would require winners to produce plans and maps representing approximately 30% of the design work prior to construction. Contractors will be required to make a recommendation on how the construction will be executed once the route footprints have been determined. Design-build could be used later in the process, and design-bid-build would be another option.
Currently, 10% of goods must be purchased for the Madera-to-Shafter section. With respect to the Merced Extension in Bakersfield, CHSRA is not acquiring any right-of-way until the footprint is determined.
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