HNTB Corporation was awarded the Project and Construction Management contract for the estimated $400-500 million Construction Package 4 (CP 4) for the California High Speed Rail project. The Rail Authority's Board of Directors announced the award on October 6.

As project and construction manager, HNTB will provide design and construction oversight for the next 22 miles of construction in California's Central Valley. "This oversight minimizes construction risks and ensures Californians the delivery of a high-speed rail system," says the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the entity overseeing the job.  

HNTB was selected after months of interviews and reviews of qualifications during a competitive bidding process among three world-renowned firms. As an additional layer of project oversight, HNTB will work with the Authority and the design-build contractor to identify, manage and mitigate project risks and make sure technical and contract requirements, including costs, are met.

Five design-build team have met qualifications for this phase and their proposals are due next month, says High Speed Rail spokesperson Lisa Marie Alley. The teams are:

  • California Rail Builders: Ferrovial Agroman US Corp.
  • Central Valley Connection Builders: FCC Construccion S.A. and Corsan-Corviam Construccion S.A.
  • Dragados/Flatiron Joint Venture: Dragados USA, Inc. and Flatiron West Inc.
  • Salini Impregilo/Security Paving Joint Venture: Salini Impregilo S.p.A. and Security Paving Company, Inc.
  • Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons a Joint Venture: Tutor Perini Corporation, Zachry Construction Corporation and Parsons Transportation Group Inc.

HNTB will oversee the inspection and testing of the high-speed rail infrastructure, technical and environmental compliance including hazmat oversight, utility relocation, construction safety and public outreach. Under the agreed upon contract, HNTB could receive up to $30 million based on actual work performed over a period of approximately five years, says the Authority.

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Work on CP 4 will extend 22-miles through the Central Valley beginning approximately one mile north of the Tulare-Kern County line and continuing south through the city of Wasco, ending at Poplar Avenue in Shafter. It is bounded by a point approximately one mile north of the Tulare/Kern County Line at the terminus of Construction Package 2-3 and Poplar Avenue to the south.

CP 4 work will include construction of at-grade, retained fill and aerial sections of the high-speed rail alignment, relocation of four miles of existing Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) tracks, construction of waterway and wildlife crossings and roadway reconstructions, relocations and closures. This phase of construction received state and federal environmental clearances in 2014.

In related HNTB rail news, it was announced last month that veteran rail expert Laura Mohr joined HNTB Corporation as vice president and rail and transit group director in one of the firm's Los Angeles offices. Mohr brings more than 25 years of industry experience in the planning, design and construction of public transportation projects, including light, heavy, commuter and intercity rail and bus rapid transit. In addition, she has led analysis, design and implementation of safety improvements for existing and new at-grade rail crossings.

At HNTB, Mohr will be responsible for managing rail and transit projects for clients such as Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Metrolink.

“Laura comes to HNTB with a wide array of experience and leadership in the rail and transit industry,” said Michael Palacios, PE, HNTB Southern California District leader, in a recent press release.

Throughout her career, Mohr has worked on Southern California infrastructure projects in varying capacities, including as director of civil engineering for the Regional Connector Transit Project in Los Angeles, manager of crossing designs for the extension of the Metrolink Commuter Rail Service to Riverside and Perris, and engineering project manager for Metro Red Line Universal City Station surface works.

Before joining HNTB, Mohr was deputy project director for the preparation of preliminary engineering and design-build tender documents for Phase 1 of the Abu Dhabi Metro Project in the United Arab Emirates, a 19-kilometer heavy rail transit system with four underground and eight elevated stations.