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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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Agreements with Union Pacific and BNSF

Today, passenger trains and freight trains share tracks around the state. While high speed rail trains will generally not be using the same tracks that freight ones do, there is a desire to increase conventional passenger rail service and there are several places where high speed rail needs the cooperation of freight companies. Here are […]

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HSR meetings heat up as budget vote nears

A marathon 6-hour joint Senate hearing on high-speed rail was held yesterday, May 15, with a surprise visit by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. The LAO, State Auditor, and 3 members of the Peer Review Group attended. Topics included the lack of a management team, federal strings and unstable funding sources. Although the Senators […]

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