Authority Issues Request for Qualifications to Build Second Phase of High-Speed Rail, 60-Mile Stretch Toward Bakersfield

Sacramento, Calif. – After signing the construction contract for the first 29 miles of high-speed rail from Madera to Fresno, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) today called for contractors to submit their qualifications to bid on the next 60-mile phase of construction from Fresno south to the Tulare-Kern County line near Bakersfield.

“The Authority is delivering on its voter-mandated mission to build the nation’s first high-speed rail system, which provides economic benefits to the Central Valley and creates thousands of jobs,” said Jeff Morales, CEO of the Authority. “High-speed rail is a critical investment in California’s transportation infrastructure to address population growth, congested roads and airports, and air quality.”

The Authority is starting the process of finding a contractor for the next 60-mile construction phase by formally posting a Request for Qualifications for Construction Package 2-3 (CP2-3). Firms will have until December 6 to submit their statement of qualifications. The Authority will then review these applications and establish a shortlist 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 shortlisted firms will then be eligible to submit formal design-build proposals in 2014.

Work on CP 2-3 will extend approximately 60 miles through the Central Valley beginning at East American Avenue in Fresno and continuing south to approximately one mile north of the Tulare-Kern County line. 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.

Design-build contracts mean the chosen contractor must develop innovative means and methods to design the project and then construct it. This approach can lead to faster construction as the contractor is accountable for timing of design and construction work. The selected design-build firm will be responsible for all work required to design and construct the CP 2-3 segment in the Central Valley. The work will include delivering final designs for bridges, culverts, trenches and tunnels, utility relocations, aerial structures, grade separations, tunnels, security and drainage. The environmental clearance for the route is already underway and is anticipated to be final by summer 2014.

As part of the project’s economic benefits for the region and state, the procurement is expected to attract a number of major national and international construction and design firms. Firms are likely to form teams, including large numbers of sub-consultants, to deliver work on this scale. The Authority is committed to small businesses playing a major role in delivering the high-speed rail program. The design-build contract will include the Authority’s adopted 30 percent goal for small business participation in the work.

Funding for CP 2-3 was appropriated in Senate Bill 1029 (Chapter 152, Statutes of 2012) and approved by the state legislature in July 2012.  It allocated $2.61 billion of Proposition 1A funds to match $3.24 billion in federal funds for a total of $5.9 billion to begin construction on the first 130 miles of high-speed rail infrastructure in the Central Valley.

About California High-Speed Rail Authority
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is responsible for planning, designing, building and operation of the first high-speed rail system in the nation. California high-speed rail will connect the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands. By 2029, the system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs. To learn more visit the Authority’s website at http://www.hsr.ca.gov and join us on facebook.com/CaliforniaHighSpeedRail and follow us at twitter.com/cahsra

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