Timeline (CP1)


July 2011  The Authority’s program manager presents the draft Design-Build Program plan to the board. “As required by the federal funding/cooperative agreement, this plan will be forwarded to the FRA for comment and approval, at which time it will be the governing document in the process of selecting appropriate contractors to begin construction of the ICS.”

The proposed weighting is 70% technical, 30% price

Presentation   Proposal  Applicable California State Law


March 1, 2012  The board approves a stipend for bidders, an evaluation process in which only top 3 technical scorers can win, the term sheet for the design-build contract and gives limited authorization to CEO to make changes in contract terms. Board Chair Dan Richard recuses himself from discussion and vote because he had done consulting work for Parsons, who is part of the Tutor Perini consortium.

Term sheet approved by board Board meeting transcript Board presentation Board resolution

Watch Authority attorney Tom Fellenz discuss the bid process:


March 9, 2012   California Public Works Board approves performance criteria and budget for the RFP.

Agenda and analysis Minutes Applicable California state law (Design Build)

Below is the approved budget for project (note:  $18 million discrepancy between total in report and item breakdown still unresolved)


Design-build contract


Additional preliminary design work


Right of way acquisition


Program management


Other project costs







“Mr. Esteban Almanza, Chief Deputy Director of the Department of General Services asked who was involved in reviewing the performance criteria that was presented to the Board. Mr. Fellenz answered that the criteria was prepared by consultants in various fields, engineers, the Project Management Team, and KPMG; and was reviewed by High Speed Rail staff, the Federal Railroad  Administration, the Department of General Services, the Department of Finance, and the Department of Transportation.”


March 22, 2012  RFP released

Instructions to Proposers

Deadline for Alternative Technical Concepts

June 15, 2012

Proposal Deadline

September 17, 2012

Anticipated Final Completion

April 2016

May 3, 2012 The Authority certifies the Final EIR/EIS for Merced-Merced segment under CEQA

May 14-15, 2012  One-on-one meetings between Authority and Bidders.

June 4-6, 2012 Meetings with bidders on Possible ATCs

June 8, 2012  Jeff Morales offered the job as CEO.  Criteria for his $25,000 bonus include getting a bid at or below estimates for a design-build contract (Board Resolution)

June 18, 2012  Jeff Morales (formerly of PB) starts as CEO

June 18 -20, 2012 Follow-up Meetings with bidders  on ATCs

July 1, 2012  Third RFP addendum issued

Deadline for Alternative Technical Concepts

June 15, 2012

Meetings with Potential Proposers on Possible ATCs

June 4-6, 2012

Follow-up Meetings with Potential Proposers on ATCs

June 18-20, 2012 (tentative)

Proposal Deadline

September 17, 2012

Anticipated Final Completion

April 2016

July 6, 2012  State Senate approves SB 1029 which authorizes  funding for Initial Construction Segment by one vote (press)

July 10-12, 2012  Follow up meetings between Authority and bidders

July 18, 2012  Governor signs bill

August 2, 2012  CHSRA approves a budget of $226 million for Caltrans to move highway 99 and construct sub-ballast. This is work originally part of the scope of the contract, but bid estimate is not changed.

August 2, 2012 Tutor Perini gets waiver of compliance for bank loan covenants and modified agreement to ease financial covenants

August 9, 2012   California Watch publishes results of study showing final costs for 11 major Tutor Perini public projects in the Bay Area were 40% over original bids

August 22, 2012   Fourth RFP addendum issued – selection process changed to favor low bid and proposal due date changed from September 17, 2012 to November 2, 2012. The Authority Board is not notified of the change. The only clue are cryptic references in the Change Log.

Deadline for Alternative Technical Concepts

June 15, 2012

Meetings with Potential Proposers on Possible ATCs

June 4-6, 2012

Follow-up Meetings with Potential Proposers on ATCs

June 18-20, 2012 (tentative)

Proposal Deadline

November 2, 2012

Anticipated Final Completion

May  2016

September 14, 2012 Tutor Perini downgraded by Moody’s

September 18, 2012  FRA issues a Record of Decision under NEPA for Merced-Fresno

September 2012 (Sept 19th latest) Brent Felker unceremoniously replaces Hans van Winkle as PB program manager  Fresno Bee article on October 25th    Brent Felker formerly worked for CEO Jeff Morales at Caltrans

 October 29, 2012 Addendum 5 issued  Liquidated damages for project delays lowered to $60,000 per day, deadline and final acceptance extended,  City of Fresno Visual Guidelines introduced that imply substantial redesign of virtually all structures ( require much wider overpasses to accommodate bike/ped, request modern design for bridge structures instead of trestle etc)

Deadline for Alternative Technical Concepts

July 9, 2012

Meetings with Potential Proposers on Possible ATCs

June 4-6, 2012

Follow-up Meetings with Potential Proposers on ATCs

June 18-20, 2012

Proposal Deadline

January 18, 2013

Anticipated Final Completion

February 2017


November 13, 2012 Addendum 6 issued (160 pages)  Final Acceptance now February 2018

November 28-30, 2012 One-on-One Meetings with Bidders

December 14, 2012  Addendum 7 issued  (153 page change log)Warranty limited to two years (from up to seven years total), Clarification offered for Fresno changes – some by contractor, some will go into third party improvements, some deferred (pedestrian bridges), AT&T and PG&E utility relocation excluded from contract, the major overpass in Fresno is also excluded

December 2012  Funding contract with FRA amended to reflect “tapered match.” The Federal government will pay more at the beginning and less at the end, to allow for delayed issuance of Prop 1a bonds. Cashflow spreadsheet at back shows delayed project date.


April 12, 2013  Authority announces Tutor Perini consortium is apparent winner of bidding contest

April 18, 2013 The Los Angeles Times reports that a change in the bidding rules mid-way through the RFP process allowed Tutor Perini to win with the lowest technical score of all five bidders (68.5%). Technical scores were as high as 92.4%.

April 23, 2013 CEO Jeff Morales writes Letter to the Editor in response to LA Times article:

“We utterly reject the thesis made in this article that our procurement process has been anything but open, competitive, objective and in accordance with the law. The process for the design-build contract for the first segment of high-speed rail was developed and reviewed by multiple federal and state agencies.

The High-Speed Rail Authority was able to secure five technically sound bids from world-class teams and create price competition that will result in the best value for taxpayers, potentially saving hundreds of millions of dollars. The decision to open all qualified bids was a thoughtful and transparent step to attempt to create the best outcome for the state.”

April 2013  Rail Authority CEO Jeff Morales writes letter to the California legislature, defending changes and stating that  newspapers were notified of it.

April 25, 2013  The Fresno Bee adds additional details and reports, that unlike with other HSR announcements,  “the Bee received no written or emailed notification of such changes.”

“The rail authority declined to answer specific questions from The Bee about why the agency chose to amend the bid-evaluation process. Authority spokesman Rob Wilcox said in an email that ‘the authority’s objective was to increase transparency and gain greater value for the project and the state.’

‘There was a real concern that by not opening all the bids, it could have left hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on the table.”

May 2, 2013 The Authority defends the bidding process at their board meeting.

Here is CEO Jeff Morales:

Watch CEO Dan Richard defend the changes and complain that media stories about bid change are “accurate but not true.”