High Speed Rail in California is a reality. First bid results...

California High-Speed Rail Authority Announces Bid Results on
Central Valley Construction Project

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) has identified Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, a Joint Venture, as the best scoring team for the design-build contract to begin construction of the Madera to Fresno segment, the first section of the high-speed rail system.

The Authority had estimated the cost for the design-build contract to be between $1.2 billion and $1.8 billion. The Authority determined that Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, a California-based Joint Venture, who bid $985,142,530, was the “apparent best value.” The ranking and score of all five proposals are attached.

“Today is a significant milestone,” said Jeff Morales, CEO of the Authority. “We received proposals from five world class teams and are moving forward to deliver a world class program. It’s time to get to work in the Central Valley and create thousands of jobs.”

In the competitive bidding process, five teams submitted proposals to the Authority for the first design-build contract. Design-build combines project design and construction in a single contract. The proposals were evaluated and ranked based on 30 percent for technical merit and 70 percent for cost. Factors such as an understanding of the project, schedule capability, project approach and safety were part of the technical scoring.

In November 2011, the Authority issued a Request for Qualification for potential design-build teams interested in the contract. Five teams met the threshold and began competing for the contract. In January 2013, the five teams submitted their proposals, which were objectively reviewed by an evaluation panel comprised of California state personnel.

The design-build contract will include the Authority’s adopted 30 percent goal for small business participation in the work. The Authority is committed to small businesses playing a major role in delivering the high-speed rail program.

The Authority will continue to work through the ongoing procurement process and a contract will be presented to the Authority’s Board of Directors in the coming weeks.

For more information on the procurement process for the design-build contract please visithttp://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/construction.aspx


About California High-Speed Rail Authority
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is responsible for planning, designing, building and operation of the first high-speed rail system in the nation. By 2029, the system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs. To learn more visit the Authority’s website at cahighspeedrail.ca.gov and join us on facebook.com/CaliforniaHighSpeedRail and follow us at twitter.com/cahsra/.

California High-Speed Rail Authority
RFP No. HSR 11-16
Apparent Best Value

Total Proposal Price
Price Proposal Score
(maximum  70 points)
Technical Proposal Score (maximum 30 points)
Total Proposal Score
Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons,
A Joint Venture
Dragados/Samsung/Pulice, A Joint Venture
California Backbone Builders
California High-Speed Rail Partners
California High-Speed Ventures

The above matrix identifies the Total Proposal Scores for determining the Apparent Best Value Proposer. The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) has determined that Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, a Joint Venture, is the Apparent Best Value Proposer. The Authority will proceed with the procurement with the Apparent Best Value Proposer. If the Authority is unable to achieve final contract award with the Apparent Best Value Proposer, it may proceed with the next most highly ranked Proposer.   Due to the ongoing procurement, no further information will be disclosed at this time


The right time to enter California

As I'm sure you know by now we were able to get the final compromise on the high-speed rail financing bill in the legislature late last week. The passage of the bond funding will now allow the Central Valley projects to move forward as planned.  There could still be some delays, particularly in the southern sections, while they deal with completing the EIR and face potential lawsuits.

Along with the passage of the bond funds for the Central Valley HSR project there was $1.1 billion allocated to the urban areas for high-speed rail. That includes $600 million for electrification in the SF Bay area which will be matched by a similar amount from the local authorities. In addition,$500 million will be made available in the Los Angeles area, which again will have to be matched by local authorities, federal funds, or the private sector. Finally as you can see from the below chart about $750 million is also allocated for connectivity funds. These funds will be used by the local rail agencies in the amounts indicated below. In many cases these new funds will allow them to complete projects of much larger size where they have already been able to identify other funds. For example, in LA, the connectivity funds provide the final amounts needed for the regional connector.

In summary, in addition to the $7.9 billion authorized by the Legislature a minimum of $750 million will be provided to the local authorities and other funding will often be used to complete the projects. This will ultimately result in over $10 billion in funding for rail projects in CaliforniaThis does not count things like Desert Xpress which now awaits a decision from the federal government to move forward.  LA Metro is completing a study on the Palmdale Victorville section of that project which could add another $2-$3 billion in construction in that Corridor and when added to the $6.5 billion from DX would produce close to $10 billion of additional rail work.
Our team will be having some meetings in order to get a better sense of how they hope to allocate their funds. We will begin tracking all the funds and their local products. 

If your company is looking forward entering this market, we can provide the local support needed in order to achieve success. For more information or if you want to learn more about how we can be of help to you: gloperena@internationalsf.com 


California approves High Speed Rail

California High-Speed Rail Authority Statement on Passage of SB 1029

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California High-Speed Rail Authority Board Chair Dan Richard today issued the following statement regarding the Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 1029 which appropriates federal grant funds and Prop 1A funds for California High-Speed Rail:

“Today’s vote to commence high-speed rail construction, like all major public policy decisions, is the result of hard work and collaborative effort.  Credit must go to Governor Brown whose courage and steadfast leadership has improved the High-Speed Rail Authority’s plans and operations,” said California High-Speed Rail Authority Chair Dan Richard.  “We also express deep gratitude to Assembly Speaker John Perez and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg for passing this measure through their houses. The Legislature’s action sets in motion a Statewide Rail Modernization Plan for California.  Not only will California be the first state in the nation to build a high-speed rail system to connect our urban centers, we will also modernize and improve rail systems at the local and regional level.  This plan will improve mobility for commuters and travelers alike, reduce emissions, and put thousands of people to work while enhancing our economic competitiveness,” said Richard.


California HSR Revised Plan Passed - Abril 2012

High-Speed Rail Authority Board Passes Revised 2012 Business Plan

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- The California High-Speed Rail Authority Board today passed a 2012 revised business plan that will provide for high-speed rail service within a decade, connect the state’s major metropolitan areas, utilize existing rail infrastructure in northern and southern California and provide earlier statewide benefits to commuters in the Bay Area and Los Angeles at a cost of $68.4 billion.

"I am pleased to announce today that the High-Speed Rail Authority has taken a huge step forward toward making a coordinated statewide transportation network a viable reality,” said Authority Board Chair Dan Richard.

The business plan was adopted with an amendment committing the Authority to work with transportation agencies in Orange County to identify cost-effective ways to enable a one-seat ride to and from Anaheim. As part of the amendment, the Southern California Passenger Rail Planning Coalition will consider options for a connection that will cost less and be less intrusive than a full-build connection enabling the one-seat ride to Anaheim.

“We now stand poised to have an operational high-speed passenger rail system within ten years,” said Board Member Mike Rossi. “By working with community leaders throughout the state we will begin construction soon on a smarter, more cost-effective transportation option for all Californians that reflects the direction mandated by voters in 2008 with the passage of Proposition 1A.”

The Board unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Southern California transportation agencies and MPOs. This document outlines a shared commitment to advance the development of high-speed rail while providing funding for local early investment projects in Southern California that will improve rail service immediately. This agreement is designed to set the stage for construction to begin on needed Southern California infrastructure projects as early as next year.

In another unanimous decision, the Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Northern California transportation entities. This would electrify the popular Caltrain commuter train from San Jose to San Francisco. The MOU, which has been approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, calls for local and regional entities to provide funding for just over half the $1.5 billion agreement. The Authority would provide $706 billion from 2008 Prop 1A bond monies.

Lynn Schenk, vice chair of the Authority Board and longtime proponent of high-speed rail, lauded the voice of youth represented by pro-high-speed rail groups such as UC Merced student group "I Will Ride," whose founder spoke during the public comment period. Schenk said, “I am most encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm of young professionals, teens and twentysomethings who have made it clear that this is a project that will benefit their generation.”

Elected officials, advocacy groups and individuals overwhelmingly spoke in favor of the business plan at the meeting.

“I hope to see, in the near future, trains pulling through all the way from Los Angeles to the Central Valley, through Silicon Valley to San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal, which we believe to be the Grand Central Station of the West,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, speaking in favor of the business plan at the meeting.

“I appreciate that High-Speed Rail embraced the proposal for a blended system that Peninsula elected officials, namely Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, State Sen. Joe Simitian and Assemblyman Rich Gordon called for a year ago,” said Adrienne Tissier, who chairs the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Caltrain and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

The business plan adopted Thursday was shaped by public feedback drawn from nearly 300 statewide meetings with landowners, elected officials and the public, as well as 250 public comments received over a two and a half month comment period.

California’s High-Speed Train Project   

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is developing a San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles and Anaheim high-speed rail system that will operate at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour. The full system will connect all of the state’s major urban centers, including Sacramento and San Diego. Initial infrastructure construction will begin in the Central Valley, the backbone of the system, in 2012. The project will generate 100,000 construction job-years of employment over the next five years and nearly one million economy-wide job-years over the life of the project. The project is being funded through voter-approved state bonds, federal funding grants, local funding, and public-private partnerships.


Marcellus Shale - Opportunities ahead...

Great information for those looking for opportunities in different fields. From transportation to enegy, without forgetting about environmental.

Marcellus Shale
Information provided by Dave Yoxtheimer, Penn State University, Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research  (August 2011)

General Marcellus Shale Facts
·       The Marcellus Shale region covers 95,000 square miles which encompasses 6 states. Of these states, Pennsylvania covers the most area
·       The shale is found at 9,000 feet deep and is only 250 feet thick
·       500 Trillion cubic feet of gas is recoverable over its life
·       Marcellus Shale could supply current US demand for 20+ years
·       Natural gas is used for 50% of home heating currently
·       Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel
·       There are two dozen shale plays across the US
·       Marcellus Shale is the second largest gas play in the world, second only to the oil field in Iran/Qatar
·       Utica Shale can be found 2,000-3,000 feet below the Marcellus Shale
·       Dry Gas
o   More pure methane
o   Found more in eastern PA
o   Highest yield is in Bradford County; also located in Tioga and Susquehanna Counties
·       Wet gas
o   Contains methane, ethane, propane, butane
o   Costs more to refine but has more commodities available for individual sale, such as plastics
o   Found more in western PA
o   Washington, Green and Fayette counties have large supplies of wet gas
·       In the first 2 – 3 years of the well being tapped, approximately 50% of the gas is recovered
·       Permits take approximately 1 month
·       Transportation is a major expense

Marcellus Shale Drilling
·        3,600 wells drilled to date. Less than half of these are online and producing due to economics
·       1,600 Marcellus wells currently in operation
·       3,000 -4,000 wells per year drilled are predicted
·       Marcellus Shale pads
o   Generally require 6 acres to be cleared
o   Actual well pad is 3-4 acres for equipment and wells on one footprint
o   One pad can hold 6-12 wells, each accessing 2 square miles from one well pad
·       Extra casing and concrete is used closer to the top of the well to protect ground water area
·       Hydrochloric acid is used to clean the well bore to reduce friction in drilling
·       It takes approximately 6 months to build and drill the well

Water Used and Treatment in Marcellus Shale Drilling
·       Almost 2/3 of daily water use is for thermoelectric water
·       8 – 10 Million gallons of water is used each day for fracking
·       10-20% of water used in fracking returns to the surface
·       Flow back treatment options
o   Direct reuse
o   Onsite treatment with reuse
o   Offsite treatment with reuse
o   Offsite treatment and disposal
·       Chemical precipitation, evaporation and filtration are some technologies being used for treatment
·       Approximately 2/3 of the water that returns to the surface is treated, recycled and reused
·       Great opportunity lies with water treatment and varying technologies and sites
·       Pennsylvania does not permit deep underground injection; no disposal into deep wells.
·       May 2011- Governor Corbett mandated that water treatment facilities must properly and adequately treat the fracking water. As a result, several water treatment facilities across PA did not meet these new standards. Only four facilities did of the 20 that were previously in operation; three in the northeastern PA and only one in southwestern PA.
·       Eureka Resources Plant in Williamsport is the only PA plant that can discharge to a stream because of high level of treatment
·       Three other water treatment facilities in PA are permitted to treat Marcellus Shale fracking water and give it back to the industry for reuse
o   Tara Aqua (Williamsport)
o   Blosburg (Tioga county)
o   Reserved Environmental Services Plant (Westmoreland county)
·       2 Million gallons per day of treatment capacity at permanent treatment facility now. This is only 50% capacity
·       There are mobile treatment units available and in use in the field as an alternative to the four qualified permanent water treatment facilities located across the state
·       Mobile units for water treatment are loosely regulated by the state currently
·       Approximately 25-35 mobile units in the field now
·       Taking out metals in water treatment costs:
o   $0.10-$0.15 / gallon – taking out metals for reuse by industry
o   $0.25-$0.30 / gallon – talking out metals and treating the remaining water for return to streams
·       Disposal of fracking water
o   Deep injection sites in Ohio, which is below Marcellus Shale level
o   Sludge is dewatered and taken to landfills that can track radiation levels
·       Water management plan is part of the permitting process
·       Wastewater treatment plans are subcontracted as part of the plan. They also must have a plan (and usually another subcontractor) for disposal of water or sludge

Other opportunities
·       Cracker plant – converts gas to ethane to ethylene for plastics manufacturing
·       Steel making and refractory industries are growing as a result of wet gas
·       Subcontractors
o   Transportation of fracking water
o   Water treatment and new technologies
o   Sludge disposal