High-Speed Rail

Rail board to weigh first-stage contract

The California High-Speed Rail Authority's staff will formally ask the agency's board to award a contract for designing and building the first construction section in the Madera-Fresno area to the lowest bidder.

In a notice issued Friday, the authority recommended that the contract be awarded to a joint venture comprised of Tutor Perini Corp. of Sylmar, Texas-based Zachry Construction, and Parsons Corp., a Pasadena company.

The Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons team submitted a bid of about $985 million -- the only one of five would-be contractor teams to bid under $1 billion for the 29-mile project. Engineers for the rail authority had estimated that the project would run between $1.2 billion and $1.8 billion.

Lisa Marie Alley, the authority's press secretary, said CEO Jeffrey Morales expects to seek approval from the agency's board in June to award and execute the contract. The rail authority board's next meeting is set for June 6.