California officials on Tuesday moved toward awarding a $1.65 billion contract to design and construct the tracks and system for the first segment of its beleaguered high-speed rail project.
The action taken by the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s board of directors was a first step in moving ahead with a contract they hope to award by next summer. It’s part of the authorities plan to get track up and running in the state’s Central Valley ahead of a 2022 deadline to meet the requirements of federal grants the Trump administration is now trying to take back.
U.S. and international businesses can apply for the contract, and whoever wins it would be responsible for designing and building rail infrastructure along 119 miles (192 kilometers) in the Central Valley as well as maintaining it for a period that could be as long as 30 years. A U.S. subsidiary of German rail giant Deutsche Bahn AG has already been awarded a $30 million contract for early operation of the trains.