The California High-Speed Rail Authority announced January 5 that it has identified California Rail Builders as the Apparent Best Value Proposer for the Design-Build Services Contract for Construction Package 4, the next segment of construction through the counties of Tulare and Kern and the cities of Wasco and Shafter.
California Rail Builders had a "best value" winning bid of $347,557,000.00 million for the project, which the Authority had estimated to cost somewhere between $400 to $500 million.
Los Angeles-based California Rail Builders is a "special purpose entity" of Austin, TX-based Ferrovial Agroman US Corp., and brings together the high-speed rail construction experience of Ferrovial Agroman and Spanish high speed rail design experts Euroestudios.
Ferrovial Agroman has designed and constructed numerous high-speed rail projects worldwide, including recent jobs such as the North Tarrant Express Segment 3A and 3C in Texas and Berth 142-143 Backland Automated Terminal in California.
In the competitive bidding process for Construction Package 4, five teams submitted Proposals to the Authority for the Design-Build Services Contract. The proposals were evaluated and ranked based on 30 % for technical merit and 70 % price. Factors such as an understanding of the project, schedule capacity, project approach and safety were part of the technical scoring.
In November 2014, the Authority issued a Request for Qualifications for potential design-build teams interested in the contract. Five teams were deemed qualified and began competing for the contract. On November 25, 2015, five teams submitted proposals, which were then reviewed by an evaluation panel of Authority staff and a representative from the city of Wasco.
Besides California Rail Builders, the other four teams to submit bids for Contract 4 were Salini Impregilo/Securtiy Paving JV; Dragados/Flatiron JV; Tutor Perini / Zachry Parsons JV; and Central Valley Connection Builders.
Work on Construction Package 4 will extend 22-miles through the Central Valley, stretching from the Tulare/Kern County line to just north of Bakersfield. The work will include construction of at-grade, retained fill and aerial sections of the 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.
The Rail Authority says it will continue to finalize the procurement process and a contract term sheet outlining the material provisions of the current contract will be presented to the Board of Directors at the January 12, 2016 Board meeting in Sacramento. At that meeting, Authority staff will seek approval to conduct limited negotiations and enter into a contract with the Apparent Best Value Proposer.
The estimated $70 billion California high-speed rail project is planned to run from Los Angeles to San Francisco by 2029.