California’s High Speed Rail Authority is reconsidering plans for a new leg, which would run from Los Angeles to San Diego, of a $42-billion, 800-mile system; instead, it now is weighing a shared-track arrangement with Amtrak. The proposal was put forth on April 8 by Richard Katz, an authority board member. He says that the measure could save an estimated $2 billion and would eliminate the need to demolish hundreds of homes and businesses. The project has been awarded $2.25 billion in federal stimulus funding and could begin construction as early as fall 2012.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.