Old bar in Fresno will be first building to fall for high-speed rail

The Fresno BeeJuly 11, 2014 

A steel works is lowered into a giant hole that will be filled with concrete, then tested for strength as part of high-speed rail work in Madera County.

COURTESY PHOTO — Special to The Bee

An old bar on a rundown section of Golden State Boulevard in central Fresno will be among the first buildings to fall to make way for construction of California's high-speed rail project.

A demolition crew will tear down Hollywood Inn, on Golden State between McKinley and Olive avenues, starting at 8 a.m. Monday. J. Kroeker Inc., a woman-owned company based in Fresno, is the subcontractor handling the demolition for the prime contracting consortium Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons.

To accommodate the planned construction of the high-speed rail line next to the Union Pacific Railroad freight tracks through central Fresno, portions of Golden State Boulevard will be shifted to the west. Plans eventually call for other buildings along Golden State between Clinton and Olive avenues, including a string of motels, to be demolished as well.

The route is part of the first 29-mile, $985 million construction segment for the planned statewide bullet-train line that would ultimately connect San Francisco and Los Angeles. The first construction segment stretches from Avenue 17 at the northeast fringe of Madera to the south end of Fresno.

On Friday, engineering crews in Madera used a crane to lower a steel frame into an 80-foot-deep hole. The 10-foot-diameter frame, which includes pressure sensors and other gear, is to be filled with concrete to form a test piling to help engineers design support structures for a elevated high-speed rail bridge that will span Highway 145, the Fresno River and Raymond Road at the eastern edge of Madera.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6319, tsheehan@fresnobee.com or @tsheehan on Twitter.

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