Archive | 2013

Negotiation over a few small words

In April 2012, the California High Speed Rail Authority announced a miracle. It could cut $30 billion off the cost of the project by downsizing project infrastructure in the Bay Area. It could share 50 miles of track with a commuter railroad that made frequent stops, without incurring any time penalty for doing so. While […]

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July 12, 2014: What is the big deal?

The STB today denied the Authority’s request to get its blessing for the next segment it wants to construct from Fresno to Bakersfield. The Authority apparently applied in September for a “conditional approval” to move forward with construction. It should be noted that as of September, the Authority hadn’t even decided which route it would […]

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The winning bid: anything interesting?

The California High Speed Rail Authority has posted the first construction contract, as well as the bid package from eventual winner Tutor Perini + Parsons + Zachry. There are literally thousands of pages of information, but we noticed a few things. The Tutor JV failed to initially include financial information that would have highlighted Tutor’s […]

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The High Speed Rail Authority loses in court: does it matter?

On Friday August 16th, Judge Michael Kenny ruled that the “funding plan” the Authority adopted was an abuse of their discretion. Read  the opinion. While the judge deferred to another hearing a decision about the consequences, the carefully worded opinion strongly hints that  the consequences may be very significant indeed –  possibly even a death […]

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How did Tutor Perini make the grade?

Tutor Perini hasn’t made real money (i.e. cash) in years. They have gone from debt-free to highly indebted. According to the Authority rules, they shouldn’t have been eligible to win. Read our analysis of Tutor Perini’s financials here Also check out our new bid process timeline

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Changing the bid process: abuse of power and a bad idea

How is the California High Speed Rail Authority different from other agencies like Caltrans? It has a lot, lot more power. The Authority can move highways, build a railroad, move utilities, exercise eminent domain, enter into design-build contracts, issue debt and pretty much do whatever it wants with virtually none of the limitations that other […]

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Once again, we struggle to get public documents from the Authority

  LETTER CARRD SENT TO THE AUTHORITY TODAY In 2011, CARRD became frustrated with the California High Speed Rail Authority’s unwillingness to comply with basic provisions of California’s open government laws, which were made part of the State Constitution in 2004.  We sent this letter to the board. The board followed our recommendations, including the […]

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