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High-Speed Rail Authority Selects Team To Manage Central Valley Construction

Brown Praises Effort/ Bid Contractors Announced


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Following a competitive bidding process, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) Board of Directors has selected PGH Wong Engineering, Inc., and Harris & Associates to provide additional oversight and management of contractors who will build the initial 30-mile stretch of high-speed rail from Madera to Fresno. Thirty percent of the work will be done by small businesses and over 50 percent of those will be located in the Central Valley.

“We’re proud to say both companies that won the Project and Construction Management (PCM) contract are California-based firms with extensive experience in transit delivery and design-build programs in California and around the nation,” said Jeff Morales, CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. “They have also achieved the Authority’s goal of having 30 percent Small Business participation and of the Small Businesses that will provide PCM services over 50 percent are located in the Central Valley.”

Also this week the names of five bidding teams offering to build the first leg of the system were made public. The bids of the contractors will be examined in the next few weeks before a decision is announced. The contractor groups are:

* California Backbone Builders, a consortium of two Spanish construction firms — Ferrovial Agroman and Acciona.
* California High-Speed Rail Partners, composed of Fluor Corp. of Texas, Swedish-based Skanska, and PCL Constructors of Canada.
* California High-Speed Ventures, made up of Kiewit Corp. of Nebraska, Granite Construction of Watsonville, and Comsa EMTE of Spain.
* A joint venture of Dragados SA of Spain, Denver-based Flatiron Construction Corp., and Shimmick Construction of Oakland.
* Tutor Perini Corp. of Sylmar, Zachry Construction of Texas and Pasadena-based Parsons Corp.

Wong-Harris will work with the Authority to oversee the contractors that will be selected to design and construct the backbone of the high-speed rail project, an initial 30-mile stretch that runs from Madera to Fresno. Wong-Harris will provide extra oversight of inspection and testing, construction safety and security, technical and environmental compliance, document control and public outreach. The purpose of this oversight is to ensure that construction is managed properly and that taxpayers are getting a good value for their investment.

This week Governor Jerry Brown praised the effort to build the huge rail system in his State of the State speech.

“ In the years following World War II, California embarked on a vast program to build highway, bridges and roads.
Today, California’s highways are asked to accommodate more vehicle traffic than any other state in the nation. Most were constructed before we knew about climate change and the lethal effects of dirty air. We now expect more.
I have directed our Transportation Agency to review thoroughly our current priorities and explore long-term funding options.
Last year, you authorized another big project: High Speed Rail. Yes, it is bold but so is everything else about California.
Electrified trains are part of the future. China already has 5000 miles of high speed rail and intends to double that. Spain has 1600 miles and is building more. More than a dozen other countries have their own successful high speed rail systems. Even Morocco is building one.
The first phase will get us from Madera to Bakersfield. Then we will take it through the Tehachapi Mountains to Palmdale, constructing 30 miles of tunnels and bridges. The first rail line through those mountains was built in 1874 and its top speed over the crest is still 24 miles an hour. Then we will build another 33 miles of tunnels and bridges before we get the train to its destination at Union Station in the heart of Los Angeles.
It has taken great perseverance to get us this far. I signed the original high speed rail Authority in 1982—over 30 years ago. In 2013, we will finally break ground and start construction.”

PGH Wong Engineering, Inc. is a full-service engineering firm that specializes in construction management, project management, and design of rail transit projects which include heavy rail, light rail, commuter rail, freight railroad, and high-speed rail. Wong’s extensive experience includes project and construction management of major transit projects including BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension, Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail Transit System, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Project, San Francisco International Airport AirTrain System, and San Francisco BART Extension to the San Francisco International Airport on behalf of the Airport.

Harris & Associates provides expertise from project conception through occupancy in project and construction management, program management, engineering services, and municipal services. Harris has also provided services to Caltrans starting with the first
consultant contract for Construction Engineering in 1986 for District 6, headquartered in Fresno. Harris was a key part of a team to provide oversight for both the design-build of the SR-22 Widening and the current design-build of the I-405 projects.

The PCM will be located at the Central Valley construction site with the Design-Build Contractor. Under the contract, Wong-Harris could receive up to $34.9 million based on actual work performed.

PGH Wong Engineering, Inc. is headquartered in San Francisco and Harris & Associates is based out of Concord, California.

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