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High-Speed Rail Now Working to Extend Valley Line to 171 Miles
AEllisPhoto
By Anya Ellis, Berkeley Correspondent
Published 4 weeks ago on
May 17, 2024

An overhead view of construction on the Hanford viaduct. (CHSRA)

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The California High-Speed Rail Authority says it’s now working to extend the 119 miles under construction to 171 miles of future electrified high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield.

In addition, there are more than 25 active construction sites in the Valley, and CHSRA says it has environmentally cleared 422 miles of the high-speed rail program from the Bay Area to Los Angeles County.

Those are some of the nuggets in CHSRA’s Spring 2024 Construction Progress Report, outlining the advancements across the Central Valley. The report highlighted future train construction, station design, jobs created, and work being done building railway and road structures.

Mock-ups of train compartments were toured by the High-Speed Rail board of directors, who are hoping to award a construction contract by the end of the year. Alstom Transportation Incorporated and Siemens Mobility Incorporated, two leading firms interested in crafting the train sets, will be submitting proposals, due in the fall.

Concept designs of stations, set to be located in Merced, Fresno, Hanford, and Bakersfield, have been presented to community-based organizations. These organizations are working with CSHRA to collaboratively construct ways the stations can benefit both passengers and the surrounding area.

Work continues on the Central Avenue grade separation. (CHSRA)

Fresno-Madera Construction Update

These areas of construction have been split into four packages.

Package one, stretching from Madera County to Fresno County, contains several sights and welcomes the new Road 26 grade separation in Madera County. When complete, this 636- foot overpass will herd cars and pedestrians over the existing Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation tracks and future high speed rail.

Located close by, workers at the Avenue 17 grade separation continue production of the substructure, nearing completion of the vent caps located on top of columns. At the Belmont Avenue grade separation, located in Fresno, crews have installed 14 of the 28 precast girders. Over on Church/East Avenue, utility relocation, including the insulation of a new sewer line, is set to be done by the end of the year. Structure work will begin after that. Production of the Central Avenue grade separation substructure continues.

Construction package two and three, located between Fresno County and the Kings-Tulare County line, harbor even greater progress.

The Floral Avenue grade separation welcomes the installation of all 16 precast girders. In the coming week, concrete will be poured along the bridge deck. Just South at the Mountain View Avenue grade separation, 16 girders were installed and construction of the bridge deck is underway.

At the Conejo Viaduct, tub girders have been placed on the North and South sides. Across the pergola section, a stay in place metal deck is being installed to form where trains will travel. The Highway 43 tied-arch bridge now extends over the road and all 28 girders were placed in March.

The Flint Avenue grade separation, located in Kings County, is almost complete. Paving and striping work have begun in preparation of the opening of the bridge and roadway later this spring.

CHSRA Jobs Created
(CHSRA)

A Look at Progress in Kings and Kern Counties

The Flint Avenue grade separation, located in Kings County, is almost complete. Paving and striping work have begun in preparation of the opening of the bridge and roadway later this spring.

Over at the Hanford viaduct, an outstanding 740 girders have been arranged to form the superstructure. In the coming weeks, workers will work overnight to place the first girders over the highway.

The Whitley Avenue underpass, near Corcoran, has begun construction. Not far from there, 264 precast girders have been installed at the Tule River viaduct. Work on the upper edge beams, the portion of the bridge that will provide support and tie the girders together, is underway.

Lastly, the Deer Creek viaduct has 33 of 43 columns that will form the substructure complete. When finished, this structure will span nearly 3,000 feet.

Constructure package four, located in Kern County, is focusing on the clean up of an old farmworker housing complex in Wasco, This work, including the demolition of old facilities, is nearly complete and will repurpose materials for construction of staging and storage for the Wasco Highway Route 46 widening project.

 

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Anya Ellis,
Reporter/Researcher
Anya Ellis began working for GV Wire in July 2023. The daughter of journalists, Anya is a Fresno native and Buchanan High School graduate. She is currently at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in film and media studies and minoring in creative writing. She plans to pursue her masters in screenwriting after graduating. You can contact Anya at anya.ellis@gvwire.com.

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