High-Speed Rail completes first structure in Kings County

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California Construction News staff writer

Dragados-Flatiron Joint Venture has completed the Jackson Avenue Grade Separation, the first high-speed rail structure in Kings County.

Also, contracts were recently awarded to advance design along the Merced to Madera and Fresno to Bakersfield project sections, expanding the 119-mile segment to 171 miles of electrified high-speed rail under development and construction.

The authority awarded the $41 million Merced to Madera extension design contract to Stantec Consulting Services Inc., which covers approximately 33.9 miles with 40 structures.

The $44.9 million Fresno to Bakersfield (Locally Generated Alternative) extension contract was awarded to HNTB and covers approximately 18.5 miles between the cities of Shafter and Bakersfield in Kern County with 31 structures.

Contracts are expected to last two years, and the two companies will work with the Authority to finalize the project configuration footprint and advance design work to refine costs and travel time enhancements, and map right of way and utility relocation, move additional sections closer to construction, with the goal of electrified high-speed trains running between Merced and Bakersfield by the end of 2029.

Since the start of construction, the  project has created more than 8,600 construction jobs, with a majority going to Central Valley residents – 2,913 residents from Fresno County, 1,608 from Kern County, 849 from Tulare County, 380 from Madera County and 293 from Kings County.

The new overcrossing is located between State Route 43 and Seventh Avenue, south of the city of Hanford. It is 212 feet long, 35 feet wide and takes traffic over the future high-speed rail tracks.

“We’re proud to continue to work with Kings County in getting the Jackson Avenue Grade Separation open for residents,” said Garth Fernandez, the High Speed Rail Authority’s Central Valley regional director.

“Grade separations such as this ensure a safe operating high-speed rail corridor. This is one of several structures in the Central Valley to be completed this year.”

The new structure follows the recent completion of the Avenue 15 ½ Grade Separation in Madera County and the South Avenue Grade Separation in Fresno County.

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