About $3 billion and 119 miles’ worth of track construction is underway or under contract on California’s planned high-speed route that, ultimately, would stretch between Sacramento and San Diego. At the same time, however, the Federal Transit Administration’s deferral of a $647-million grant for electrification of a Bay Area commuter rail line—considered a vital part of the $64-billion high-speed-rail system—indicates potential, possibly partisan-based new opposition.
In February, a group of Republicans wrote a letter to new U.S. Dept. of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao urging her to defer the grant, citing opposition to the high-speed-rail project, and she agreed. As a result, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board reached an agreement with its major contractors to delay construction starts, originally slated for March, to June.
Because it can moderate the damaging effects of earthquakes, base-isolation is a technique used primarily in seismically active regions. ENR takes a look at some of the largest applications of base-isolation technologies in the world.