California High Speed Rail Authority Issues RFQ for Second Phase

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) issued its Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Construction Package 2-3 (CP2-3) on October 10 and will be hosting an industry forum for the project on October 29, 2013.  The RFQ calls for contractors to submit their qualifications to bid on the second phase of high speed rail construction, consisting of a 60-mile route from Fresno south to the Tulare-Kern County line near Bakersfield.  The construction contract for the first 29 miles, from Madera to Fresno, was signed on August 19 of this year. 

Firms will have until December 6 to submit their statement of qualifications (SOQs) in response to the RFQ.  The Authority will then review the SOQs and shortlist the most highly qualified firms to provide design-build services for the CP2-3 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 is expected to bring thousands of jobs to the Central Valley, an area with one of the highest unemployment rates in California and the nation. The route is also expected to provide environmental benefits, relieve roadway congestion and spur economic development.  The environmental clearance process for the route is already underway and is anticipated to be final by summer 2014.
 
The CP 2-3 procurement is expected to attract a number of major national and international construction and design firms that will team with sub-consultants and subcontractors to deliver the CP 2-3 phase of the massive high speed rail project.  The Authority is committed to small businesses playing a major role in delivering the State’s high-speed rail program, and has adopted a 30 percent goal for small business participation in the work.

The Authority will be hosting an Industry Forum from 1:00-3:30 pacific time on October 28, 2013, at the Secretary of State Auditorium, 1500 11th Street, Sacramento. CA 95814.  The forum will feature a project overview, small business presentation and networking opportunities.
 
The RFQ is posted on the Authority's website.

Geoff Petrov co-authored this entry.

California High-Speed Rail Authority Executes Initial Design-Build Contract for First High-Speed Rail System in the United States

On August 16, 2013, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) executed a design-build contract with a joint venture among Tutor Perini Corporation, Zachry Construction Corporation and Parsons Transportation Group Inc. for the initial segment of the first high-speed rail system in the United States.  The initial segment is 29 miles long and is located in California's Central Valley.  The contract is valued at approximately $985 million, plus an additional $53 million in provisional sums.  Please refer to the Authority's web site for further information.

California High-Speed Rail Authority Receives Federal Regulatory Authority to Construct Initial Segment of Passenger Rail System

Yesterday, the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) authorized the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) to construct the initial 65-mile segment of its passenger train system between Merced and Fresno, California.  The system will eventually connect the major population centers of the state on over 800 miles of rail lines, operating at speeds up to 220 mph.

"We welcome this decision and will continue to work with the Surface Transportation Board on the implementation of the nation's first high-speed rail program," said Jeff Morales, the Authority's chief executive. "We can now focus on starting major work on the project this summer and providing thousands of jobs in the Central Valley."

The Authority expects to award a $985 million contract shortly to a joint venture led by Tutor Perini to design and construct the first 29-mile section of the high-speed train system in the San Joaquin Valley, from Madera County to Fresno.

In authorizing construction of this initial Merced-to-Fresno segment of the larger high-speed train system, the STB exempted the Authority from the more detailed and lengthy application process that would otherwise govern federal licenses to construct rail lines.  The STB noted that the Authority's rail line will be a "valuable addition to the passenger rail transportation system in California," and adopted the extensive environmental analysis already completed by the Authority for this segment.

The STB, a federal economic regulatory agency, has jurisdiction over the construction of rail lines as part of the interstate rail network.  The STB determined that it had jurisdiction over the Authority's high-speed train system because the STB found that, despite being located entirely in the state of California, the Authority plans to interconnect its system with other interstate services like Amtrak.

The STB's decision in this matter will establish important precedent for the future federal regulation of state-supported passenger rail systems.

California High-Speed Rail Authority Announces Apparent Best Value Proposer

The California High-Speed Rail Authority recently announced that a joint venture composed of Tutor Perini, Zachry Construction and Parsons has provided the apparent best value proposal for the initial design-build construction package of California's high-speed rail system located in the Central Valley.  The Authority received four other proposals from Dragados/Samsung/Pulice (composed of  Dragados SA; Samsung C&T America and Pulice Construction), California Backbone Builders (composed of Ferrovial Argoman and Acciona), California High-Speed Rail Partners (composed of Fluor, Skanska and PCL Constructors) and California High-Speed Ventures (composed of Kiewit Infrastructure West, Granite Construction and COMSA EMTE USA).  The apparent best value scores are shown in the table below:

The apparent best value selection was based 70 percent on price and 30 percent on technical scores.  The Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons proposal price of $985,142,530 was also the lowest price proposal.  The apparent best value proposal price was also significantly below the Authority's cost estimate of between $1.2 and 1.8 billion.  While the initial determination of the apparent best value proposer has been made, the procurement remains in progress.  If the Authority is unable to reach a final contract with Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, the Authority may continue the procurement with the next most highly ranked proposer.

Please see the Authority's website for further information.