The third of three construction contracts for designing and building a high-speed rail line through the San Joaquin Valley could be awarded Tuesday by the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
The authority board, meeting in Sacramento, will consider the lowest of four qualifying bids for a 22-mile section of the route from just north of the Tulare-Kern county line to Poplar Avenue at the north edge of Shafter.
The low bid for the work was $347.5 million, submitted by California Rail Builders. The team is led by Ferrovial Agroman US Corp., the American subsidiary of Spanish construction firm Ferrovial SA. The team also includes Eurostudios, a Spanish engineering company, and Othon Inc., a Houston engineering and environmental consulting firm.
Five teams submitted bids in November, but the prices were kept sealed until last week while each of the proposals was evaluated for technical expertise.
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Ferrovial Agroman scored the highest in the technical evaluation, said Scott Jarvis, the rail authority’s chief engineer. In a report to the board, Jarvis said the agency’s staff “is pleased to note that the highly qualified team of California Rail Builders had the highest technical proposal score and the lowest total proposal price.”
The Ferrovial Agroman bid was one of two that came in below the low range of engineers’ estimates of $400 million to $500 million for the project.
If the rail board authorizes CEO Jeff Morales to finalize a deal with California Rail Builders, the total contract will include an additional $107 million to pay for extra needs including utility relocation – a sum that would have been added to any of the bids to cover the additional costs for having to move lines and pipes operated by Pacific Gas & Electric Co., AT&T and LEVEL 3 Communications along the rail line.
One of the five bidding teams, Central Valley Connection Builders, was disqualified from the evaluation because it was unable to provide the authority with a surety letter or a proposal bond, Jarvis said. The Central Valley Connection Builders team included two Spanish firms, FCC Construccion SA and Corsan-Corviam Construccion SA.
The first two Valley construction segments for which contracts have been awarded are a 29-mile stretch between Fresno and Madera, and about 65 miles of the route from south of Fresno to the Tulare-Kern county line.
High-speed rail meeting
What: California High-Speed Rail Authority meeting
When: 10 a.m. Tuesday (finance committee meets at 8:30 a.m.)