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Construction Update
Construction Update

December 2018 Edition

Featured Project: Avenue 12 Grade Separation

Concrete being poured at Avenue 12.

Crews have poured the concrete deck and are working on the back walls and traffic barrier for the bridge over the high-speed rail line at the Avenue 12 grade separation. The realignment of the busy roadway with two separate bridges will take traffic over the high-speed rail line and the BNSF freight tracks a little further east. To the east, rebar and carpenter crews continue to work on the cast in place wall footings adjacent to the structure which will cross over the BNSF freight rail tracks.

Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway | Central Fresno

Workers continue excavating the crossing under State Route 180 (SR 180) outside of downtown
Fresno. As they dig down five feet, they add to the retaining wall with a rebar mesh and sprayed
concrete, known as shotcrete. There's about 18 feet left to excavate before crews will construct a
concrete box that will carry the trains under SR 180, a rail spur and the Dry Creek Canal. At the
trench, to the north of the SR 180, additional precast struts have been set, approximately 800 feet
have been partially excavated. Crews are installing temporary supports to excavate the remainder
in this area of the trench. Ultimately, the trench will extend approximately one mile in length.

Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway

San Joaquin River Viaduct | North Fresno

At the northern end of the San Joaquin River Viaduct, girders have been set and a cast-in-place concrete arch is underway for the section that crosses over the river. Concrete is being poured for the deck segments on the north side of the river, while further south, crews continue constructing barrier and intrusion protection walls along the sides of the pergola section of the viaduct. The completed viaduct, nearly a mile in length, will be one of the largest structures on this first phase of the high-speed rail project.

San Joaquin River Viaduct San Joaquin River Viaduct San Joaquin River Viaduct

Cedar Viaduct | South Fresno

At the Cedar Viaduct, construction crews continue extending the structure across State Route 99 south of Fresno. Columns for several support piers are rising on both sides of the highway. The viaduct will eventually be connected to the smaller Muscat Viaduct a little further to the south. One of the largest structures on Construction Package 1, the Cedar Viaduct will be about three-quarters of a mile long when complete.

Cedar Viaduct Cedar Viaduct

Road 27 Grade Separation | Madera County

At the northern end of Construction Package 1, a total of 28 girders have been set to form the foundation for the crossing superstructure. Currently, crews are beginning construction of diaphragms that will connect the girders to one another along the sides. They’ll also start closure pours which will connect the girder sections together. After some additional utility relocation, embankment work will also begin. Ultimately, the bridge will be nearly 650 feet with frontage roads providing access along the sides to local homes.

Road 27 Grade Separation Road 27 Grade Separation

Avenue 15 Grade Separation | Madera County

Construction is ramping up at Avenue 15. Carpenter and rebar crews are constructing the abutment wall for this two-span structure which will take traffic over the high-speed train and the existing freight rail alignment.

Avenue 15 Grade Separation

Avenue 11 Grade Separation | Madera County

On the Avenue 11 bridge, crews are completing traffic barriers on the bridge. Next, dirt, paving, and guardrail crews will be mobilizing to complete the overpass, starting with the roadway leading up to the concrete bridge deck. A rock base will then be placed for the roadway followed by asphalt paving. This crossing, east of Road 30 ½, will take traffic over the high-speed train alignment.

Avenue 11 Grade Separation

Kent Avenue Grade Separation | Kings Avenue

At the overcrossing for Kent Avenue, workers are beginning construction of the bridge deck’s support piers. A rebar cage is lowered into a drilled shaft then filled with concrete. A second rebar cage is attached then concrete forms set to form the column. A flared pier cap will next be constructed on top of the columns to support the bridge deck.

Kent Avenue Grade Separation Kent Avenue Grade Separation

November 2018 Edition

Featured Project: San Joaquin River Viaduct

At the northern end of the San Joaquin River Viaduct, girders have been set and a cast-in-place concrete arch is underway for the section that crosses over the river. Further south, crews continue constructing barrier and intrusion protection walls along the sides of the pergola section of the viaduct. On the north bank of the San Joaquin River (below), workers are building four box girder spans that will bring northbound trains back to ground level. The completed viaduct, nearly a mile in length, will be one of the largest structures on this first phase of the high-speed rail project.

Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway | Central Fresno

From above, you can see all the girders recently set over the northern section of the trench. Meanwhile, workers continue excavating the crossing under State Route 180 (SR 180) outside of downtown Fresno. As they dig down five feet, they add to the retaining wall with a rebar mesh and sprayed concrete (also known as shotcrete). Once they reach the bottom of the trench, they’ll construct a concrete box that will carry the trains under SR 180, a rail spur and the Dry Creek Canal.

Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway

Cedar Viaduct | South Fresno

At the Cedar Viaduct, construction crews continue extending the structure across State Route 99 (SR 99) south of Fresno. Columns for several support piers can be seen rising on both sides of the highway, while crews have also completed temporary shoring and excavation of the pile caps within the SR 99 median. The viaduct will eventually be connected to the smaller Muscat Viaduct a little further to the south. One of the largest structures on Construction Package 1, the Cedar Viaduct will be about three-quarters of a mile long when it’s complete.

Cedar Viaduct Cedar Viaduct

Road 27 Grade Separation | Madera County

At the northern end of Construction Package 1, a crane sets the remaining concrete girders for the overcrossing at Road 27 in Madera County. In late August and September, four massive girders were placed across the railroad tracks during night time closures coordinated with the BNSF railroad. These concrete beams, each one more than eight feet tall, 150 feet in length, and weighing more than 250,000 pounds, are some of the largest ever used in California. A total of 28 girders will create the foundation for the crossing superstructure, with the deck tentatively scheduled to be poured early next year. After some additional utility relocation, embankment work can also begin.

Road 27 Grade Separation

Avenue 12 Grade Separation | Madera County

Wing walls extending off the high-speed rail overpass at Avenue 12 in Madera County have been poured. Next, steel rebar will be placed and tied in preparation for a concrete deck pour. The realignment of the busy roadway with two separate bridges will take traffic over the future high-speed rail line and the BNSF freight tracks a little further east.

Avenue 12 Grade Separation

Avenue 11 Grade Separation | Madera County

At the Avenue 11 Grade Crossing, embankment and conduits for future utilities are being completed off the bridge. On the bridge, crews are currently constructing traffic barriers along the sides of the deck. Next, paving and guardrail subcontractors will mobilize to complete the overpass. This crossing, east of Road 30 ½, will take traffic over the high-speed train alignment in Madera County.

Avenue 11 Grade Separation

Avenue 8 Grade Separation | Madera County

The bridge deck and the wing walls extending off the Avenue 8 overcrossing in Madera County have been poured and crews will next pour the traffic barrier along the sides of the structure. The block retaining walls have been completed on either side of the abutments and fill dirt placed to finish the slope leading up to the bridge. Utility conduit is also being installed for future utilities.

Avenue 8 Grade Separation

American Avenue Grade Separation | South Fresno

At the southern end of Construction Package 1, girders have been set across the BNSF freight line to continue construction of the American Avenue overcrossing. Design-builder Tutor-Perini/Zachry/Parsons and the Authority are coordinating with BNSF on progressing design that will allow further construction to proceed.

American Avenue Grade Separation

Kansas Avenue | Kings County

At the overcrossing for a realigned Kansas Avenue, west of State Route 43 in Kings County, crews are excavating what will be the passageway for high-speed trains. Abutments for the bridge have already been constructed and next concrete and rebar piers will be built that will support the bridge deck.

Kansas Avenue

Kent Avenue | Kings County

A mile to the north of Kansas Avenue at the overcrossing for Kent Avenue, excavation for the high-speed train passageway has been completed. Ironworkers are now tying rebar for the bridge deck’s support piers.

Kent Avenue

October 2018 Edition

Featured Project: Cedar Viaduct

At the Cedar Viaduct, construction crews continue extending the structure across State Route 99 south of Fresno. Rebar columns for several support piers can be seen rising on the north side of the highway. Below, a crane holds a concrete form in place while a worker anchors it to a large concrete block. The viaduct will eventually be connected to the smaller Muscat Viaduct a little further to the south. One of the largest structures on Construction Package 1, the Cedar Viaduct will be about three-quarters of a mile long when it’s complete.

Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway | Central Fresno

Workers have been excavating the sides of the crossing under State Route 180 (SR 180) outside of downtown Fresno, preparing for the construction of a retaining wall with a rebar mesh and sprayed concrete (also known as shotcrete). Crews have approximately 15 feet more to excavate before they reach the bottom of the trench where a concrete box will be constructed that will carry the trains under SR 180, a rail spur and the Dry Creek Canal.

Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway

San Joaquin River Viaduct | North Fresno

At the northern end of the San Joaquin River Viaduct, workers are busy with concrete pours as the cast-in-place structure gets closer to the river. Further south, crews have begun constructing barrier walls along the sides of the pergola section of the viaduct. On the south bank of the San Joaquin River, crews are finishing up construction of the remaining support columns, while on the north bank of the river the final pier cap has been poured. The completed viaduct will form one of the largest structures on this first phase of the high-speed rail project.

San Joaquin River Viaduct San Joaquin River Viaduct

Road 27 Grade Separation | Madera County

At the northern end of Construction Package 1, large concrete girders are being set for the overcrossing at Road 27 in Madera County. The first two girders were placed across the railroad tracks during a night time closure in late August, while the second two girders are currently scheduled to be set in late September. A total of 28 girders will create the foundation for the crossing superstructure, with the deck tentatively scheduled to be poured early next year. Following utility relocation, embankment work can also begin. Ultimately, the bridge will be nearly 700 feet with frontage roads providing access along the sides to local homes.

Road 27 Grade Separation Road 27 Grade Separation

Avenue 15 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 15, just east of Road 29 in Madera County, the piers for a supporting bent structure have been poured, rebar for the west abutment is in place, and fill dirt has been trucked in for the westside embankment. The Authority is currently coordinating with BNSF for a permit to work over the railroad tracks.

Avenue 15 Grade Separation

Avenue 12 Grade Separation | Madera County

The Avenue 12 overcrossing over the BNSF freight tracks has its girders in place, and workers are building a retaining wall adjacent to the structure. The overcrossing, just east of Madera Community College in Madera County, will include one structure that will take traffic over the high-speed train alignment and a separate structure further east that will cross the freight tracks.

Avenue 12 Grade Separation

Avenue 11 Grade Separation | Madera County

The concrete bridge deck for the Avenue 11 overcrossing has been poured and wing walls constructed along the sides that will tie the structure in with the embankment. Crews are currently constructing barrier walls along the sides of the deck and finishing wing walls which extend off the bridge. This crossing, east of Road 30 ½, will take traffic over the high-speed rail alignment in Madera County.

Avenue 11 Grade Separation

Avenue 8 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 8 in Madera County, crews construct wing walls for the single span bridge east of State Route 99. Approximately 35,000 lbs. of deck rebar is being tied on the bridge deck. The bridge deck is currently scheduled to be poured in early October. The block retaining walls have been completed on either side of the abutments and fill dirt placed to finish the slope leading up to the bridge.

Avenue 8 Grade Separation

Kent and Kansas Avenues | Kings County

At the overcrossing for Kansas Avenue, west of State Route 43, carpenters construct the concrete forms for the abutments, preparing for a concrete pour at the end of the month. Meanwhile, a mile to the north at Kent Avenue (right), utility relocation continues and concrete is poured for that overcrossing’s abutments.

Kent and Kansas Avenues Kent and Kansas Avenues

September 2018 Edition

Featured Project: Fresno Trench & 180 Passageway

Girders in Place at the Fresno Trench

A crane sets pre-cast concrete girders over the northern section of the Fresno Trench, near downtown Fresno. Nearly 40 girders were placed over two days in August, while closer to State Route 180 (SR 180), work continued on a drainage structure that will relocate a 60-inch storm sewer line to the north side of the highway (Below). Crews have approximately 15 feet more to excavate before they reach the bottom of the trench where a concrete box will be constructed that will carry the trains under SR 180, a rail spur and the Dry Creek Canal.

Cedar Viaduct | South Fresno

At the Cedar Viaduct, construction crews continue extending the structure across State Route 99 south of Fresno. Concrete support piers are being constructed on either side of the highway and in the highway median as well. Drill shafts have been poured and column work is beginning. The viaduct will eventually be connected to the smaller Muscat Viaduct a little further to the south. One of the largest structures on Construction Package 1, the Cedar Viaduct will be about three-quarters of a mile long when it’s complete.

Cedar Viaduct Cedar Viaduct

San Joaquin River Viaduct | North Fresno

At the San Joaquin River Viaduct, workers have completed concrete pours for much of the pergola deck that will carry high-speed trains over the existing rail line (above). On the south bank of the San Joaquin River, crews are finishing up construction of the remaining support columns, while on the north bank of the river (below), the final pier cap has been poured. The cast-in-place construction of the deck is progressing and will follow with the completion of the pier caps, tying all the individual components of the structure together. The completed viaduct will form one of the largest structures on this first phase of the high-speed rail project.

San Joaquin River Viaduct

Road 27 Grade Separation | Madera County

At the northern end of Construction Package 1, the overcrossing for Road 27 in Madera County continues to take shape as crews complete the support structures for the coming placement of concrete girders. The first two girders to be placed across the railroad tracks are currently scheduled during a night time closure of the rail line at the end of this month, with two more girders scheduled in late September. A total of 28 girders will be set to create the foundation for the crossing superstructure with the deck tentatively scheduled to be poured in January. As soon as utility relocation begins, embankment work will also commence. The bridge will be more than 600 feet long with the longest span stretching 198 feet.

Road 27 Grade Separation

Avenue 15 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 15, just east of Road 29 in Madera County, the piers for a supporting bent structure have been poured and falsework will soon be erected to form the bent cap. The foundation for the west abutment has been poured and fill dirt has been trucked to the site to build the embankment on the east side.

Avenue 15 Grade Separation

Avenue 12 Grade Separation | Madera County

The section of the Avenue 12 overcrossing that goes over the BNSF freight tracks is beginning to take shape, and workers are currently building retaining wall footings adjacent to the structure. The Avenue 12 overcrossing will include one structure that will take traffic over the high-speed rail alignment and a separate structure further east that will cross the freight tracks.

Avenue 12 Grade Separation Avenue 12 Grade Separation

Avenue 11 Grade Separation | Madera County

At the Avenue 11 overcrossing, concrete has been placed for the bridge deck. Next, crews will begin construction of wing walls and the approach slabs that will tie the structure in with the embankment. This crossing, east of Road 30 ½, will take traffic over the high-speed rail alignment in Madera County.

Avenue 11 Grade Separation

Avenue 8 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 8 in Madera County, rebar is in place for a single span bridge east of State Route 99. Crews are working on the bridge wing walls and bridge deck rebar. The block retaining walls have been completed on either side of the abutments and fill dirt placed to finish the slope leading up to the bridge.

Avenue 8 Grade Separation

Kent and Kansas Avenues | Kings County

Construction of two overcrossings in CP 2-3 continues with the installation of concrete forms and tying rebar for abutments. At the crossing for Kansas Avenue west of State Route 43, crews tie rebar for columns that will be lowered into drilled shafts and filled with concrete to form the foundation for an abutment. About a mile north, at Kent Avenue, another crew sets concrete forms to begin the construction of an abutment.

Kent and Kansas Avenues Kent and Kansas Avenues

Flint and Fargo Avenues | Kings County

Also in Kings County, construction has begun on two new overcrossings, one at Flint Avenue and one at Fargo Avenue east of SR 43 just outside of Hanford. About 49 trucks per hour are hauling approximately 56,000 cubic yards of earth per day to build up the embankments.

Flint and Fargo Avenues Flint and Fargo Avenues

August 2018 Edition

New Views from the Air

The August Construction Update features new aerial photos of several of our projects in Construction Package 1 from Madera to South Fresno. Learn more about the new work at the Cedar Viaduct and how it's now concentrating on passing over State Route 99. Plus, read about the progress crews are making on State Route 180 and the unique approach being taken at the grade separation project at Road 27 in Madera County.

San Joaquin River Viaduct & Pergola | North Fresno

At the San Joaquin River Viaduct, workers continue pouring concrete for the pergola deck that will carry high-speed trains over the existing rail line. On the south bank of the San Joaquin River, crews are finishing up construction of pier caps to tie together the few remaining support columns, while on the north bank of the river, the final pier cap has been poured. The cast-in-place construction of the deck follows completion of the pier caps, tying all the individual components of the structure together. The completed viaduct will form one of the largest structures on this first phase of the high-speed rail project.

San Joaquin River Viaduct & Pergola San Joaquin River Viaduct & Pergola

Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway | Central Fresno

At the Fresno Trench beneath State Route 180 (SR 180), crews have approximately 20 feet more to excavate before they reach the bottom of the trench where a concrete box will be constructed that will carry the trains. Further north, an intrusion protection barrier is largely complete that will make sure high-speed and freight trains stay separated in the event of an accident. When complete, the trench will cross under SR 180, a rail spur and the Dry Creek Canal.

Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway

Cedar Viaduct | South Fresno

At the Cedar Viaduct, construction crews have begun to extend the structure across State Route 99 south of Fresno. Rebar for support piers is springing up on either side of State Route 99, as ironworkers construct the columns that will soon be filled with concrete. Drilling in the median for pier foundations has also begun at night to minimize disruption to highway traffic from lane closures. The viaduct will eventually be connected to the Muscat Viaduct a little further to the south.

Cedar Viaduct Cedar Viaduct

Road 27 Grade Separation | Madera County

At the northern end of Construction Package 1, the overcrossing for Road 27 in Madera County continues to take shape as crews build the support structures for the coming placement of concrete girders. Due to the geometry of Road 27 as it crosses the railroad tracks, the spans of this bridge are very long. Contractor TPZP is using precast spliced girders for the superstructure to achieve the distances needed. Shorter precast girders will be set on temporary falsework bents, which are being built between the concrete bents. Once the girders have been set beginning in August, they will be post-tensioned and the ends enclosed in concrete to form the superstructure. Underground utility work is also ongoing on the south side of the job site. Once the remaining utility relocations are complete, access roads for local homes and embankment will begin. Ultimately, the bridge will be over 700 feet long with the longest span stretching 198 feet.

Road 27 Grade Separation Road 27 Grade Separation

Avenue 15 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 15, just east of Road 29 in Madera County, concrete has been poured for the west side abutment footing, while on the east side, a cast in-place wall will be constructed on either side of the abutment once it has been built. The piers for a supporting bent structure have been poured and falsework will be erected to form the bent cap. Eventually, concrete girders will link the abutments with the supporting bent to form the superstructure of the bridge.

Avenue 15 Grade Separation Avenue 15 Grade Separation

Avenue 12 Grade Separation | Madera County

Crews have now set the girders for the section of the Avenue 12 overcrossing that goes over the BNSF freight tracks, and continue to tie rebar for an eventual concrete pour at the deck section further to the west. The crossing just east of Madera Community College, will take traffic over the high-speed rail alignment and the freight tracks. Construction has also begun on the cast-in-place walls extending off the abutments, which will retain the earthen embankment.

Avenue 12 Grade Separation Avenue 12 Grade Separation

Avenue 11 Grade Separation | Madera County

Also in Madera County, crews have constructed the bridge deck for the Avenue 11 overcrossing and are getting it ready for a concrete pour planned within the next few weeks. This crossing, east of Road 30 ½, will take traffic over the high-speed rail alignment.

Avenue 11 Grade Separation Avenue 11 Grade Separation

Avenue 8 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 8 in Madera County, the precast deck panels which act as the underside (or soffit) of the bridge deck have been set and crews are tying deck rebar for a single span bridge east of State Route 99. The block retaining walls have been completed on either side of the abutments and fill dirt placed to finish the slope leading up to the bridge. The concrete deck pour will be completed after Avenue 11.

Avenue 8 Grade Separation Avenue 8 Grade Separation

Avenue 7 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 7 and Road 33 in Madera County, concrete girders have been set to begin construction of the upper portion of the bridge known as the superstructure. Deck panels for this structure have been set on both spans. This crossing will straighten out a bend in Avenue 7 while realigning Road 33 and allow traffic to cross over the high-speed rail tracks east of State Route 99.

Avenue 7 Grade Separation Avenue 7 Grade Separation

Featured Project: Pond Road | Kern County

On Construction Package 4, just north of Wasco in Kern County, crews have been drilling shafts, setting rebar columns and pouring concrete for the foundation of a structure that will carry high-speed trains over Pond Road. A total of 10 shafts were drilled and poured on the north side of the roadway while another eight had to be constructed on the south side.

Featured Project: Pond Road Featured Project: Pond Road

July 2018 Edition

Girder Facility Under Construction

Rising from a field just outside of Hanford is a facility the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else in the state.

“They just don’t do this in California,” says foreman Mick Wilson.

This is a girder manufacturing facility built by Construction Package 2-3 design builder Dragados-Flatiron Joint Venture (DFJV). What makes this facility so unique? The speed at which the girders can be created.

“If you did it right, you could do a whole bridge in one week here,” says Wilson. In fact, Wilson explains that depending on length, as many as eight girders could be made all at one time. It’s that capacity that separates the facility from any others in the state and a capacity that will be needed for this stretch of the high-speed rail program.

“We’re going to be building around 1,300 different kinds of beams plus almost half a million precast slabs,” explains project manager Juan Gasca. He says the facility was originally conceived in late 2017 when DFJV couldn’t find a company to meet its needs and schedule.

By March of 2018, the facility was under construction with the help of several small businesses across the state.

“Small suppliers for tools and different hardware companies,” explains Gasca. “All the electrical for the plant is being installed by Preferred Power Solution, it’s a small woman-owned company from Bakersfield. All the rebar in the plant is being installed by Martinez Steel, a small company.”

And it’s not just the businesses that are benefiting. Gasca estimates that 95 percent of the 25-30 people working at the facility are from the area. That includes batch plant operator Javier Velasquez, who has called Hanford home since he was 20.

Velasquez has worked in construction for three decades but says he’s hardly ever worked this close to home, working around the state and the country.

“On the weekends we’d come home, like if we work in the Bay Area, San Francisco, whatever. But when we work out of state maybe (we’d) just come home once a month... maybe once every three months, so it’s kind of hard.”

So what’s it like working so close to home?

Velasquez says he has the opportunity to tackle the honey-do list that has grown quite lengthy after all these years. Still, for him, there truly is no place like home.

“This feels like it’s not work. It feels good, it feels real good.”

Featured Project: Road 27 | Madera

At the overcrossing for Road 27 in Madera County, crews are busy preparing for the placement of concrete girders next month. Here at the northern end of Construction Package 1, the Road 27 overcrossing will take traffic over the high-speed rail line and existing tracks for BNSF.


The Road 27 overpass is a unique structure compared to the others currently being constructed in Madera County. Due to the geometry of Road 27 as it crosses the BNSF and high-speed rail corridor, the spans of this bridge are long.

Design-builder Tutor-Perini/Zachry/Parsons (TPZP) is using precast spliced girders for the superstructure to achieve the distances needed. Shorter precast girders are set on temporary falsework bents. The girders are then post-tensioned and the ends enclosed in concrete to unify the superstructure. Ultimately, the bridge will be over 700 feet long with the longest span stretching 198 feet.

Featured Project: Road 27 Featured Project: Road 27 Featured Project: Road 27

Davis Avenue Geotech Testing | South Fresno County

Just west of State Route 43 in south Fresno County, crews conduct geotechnical analysis on test piles for a future overcrossing for Davis Avenue. The test piles are driven into the ground and then subjected to forces to see how the soils react. Designers will use the data collected to determine how to construct the future overcrossing that will take Davis Avenue traffic over the high-speed rail line.

Davis Avenue Geotech Testing Davis Avenue Geotech Testing

Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway | Central Fresno

At the Fresno Trench beneath State Route 180 (SR 180), the excavation and shotcrete operation is ongoing. On one side of the trench, a crew sprays shotcrete over rebar to form the trench wall, while on the other side, another worker sprays the new surface with a curing compound to help the concrete set properly. Shotcrete is a type of concrete that is typically sprayed over rebar or metal mesh to keep dirt or material in place and is often used in constructing backyard pools. Crews have approximately 30 more feet to excavate before they reach the bottom of the trench where a concrete box that will carry the trains will be constructed. When complete, the trench will cross under SR 180, a rail spur and the Dry Creek Canal.

Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway

San Joaquin River Viaduct | North Fresno

Craft workers pour concrete for the pergola deck structure that will carry trains over the existing freight rail lines at the San Joaquin River Viaduct. On the south bank of the San Joaquin River crews are also busy finishing up construction of pier caps to tie together the few remaining support columns. The cast-in-place construction of the deck is also progressing, tying all the individual components of the structure together. The completed viaduct will form one of the largest structures on this first phase of the high-speed rail project.

San Joaquin River Viaduct San Joaquin River Viaduct

Cedar Viaduct | South Fresno

At the Cedar Viaduct, construction crews have begun to extend the structure across State Route 99 (SR 99) south of Fresno. Drilling for support pier foundations is now well underway on either side of the highway and soon will also take place in the highway median. Shafts are being drilled nearly 90 feet deep and will be filled with rebar cages and concrete. The viaduct will eventually be connected to the Muscat Viaduct a little further to the south. One of the largest structures on Construction Package 1, the Cedar Viaduct will be about three-quarters of a mile long when it’s complete.

Cedar Viaduct Cedar Viaduct Cedar Viaduct

Avenue 15 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 15, just east of Road 29 in Madera County, the western abutment construction for the Avenue 15 overpass continues. Dozens of shafts have been drilled, each one is three feet in diameter and 70 feet deep. The east side will have a cast-in-place wall on either side of the abutment, while the west side of the structure will have pre-cast Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) wall panels to retain the fill on the abutment’s north and south sides. The piers for a supporting bent structure have been poured and next falsework will be erected to construct the bent cap. Eventually, concrete girders will link the abutments with the supporting bent to form the superstructure of the bridge.

Avenue 15 Grade Separation

Avenue 8 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 8 in Madera County, the precast deck panels, which act as the underside (or soffit) of the bridge deck, have been set and crews are tying deck rebar for a single span bridge that will cross the high-speed rail alignment east of State Route 99. The block retaining walls have been completed on either side of the abutments and fill dirt placed to finish the slope leading up to the bridge.

Avenue 8 Grade Separation

Avenue 11 Grade Separation | Madera County

Also in Madera County, crews have constructed the bridge deck for the Avenue 11 overcrossing and are getting it ready for a concrete pour later in July. Pictured above, a crane lifts the paving machine, called a Bidwell, off the deck structure for some routine maintenance. This crossing, a little east of Road 30 ½, will take traffic over the high-speed rail alignment.

Avenue 11 Grade Separation

Avenue 7 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 7 and Road 33 in Madera County, a crane set 10 concrete girders to begin construction of the upper portion of the bridge known as the superstructure. Each girder was 110 feet long and weighed about 105,000 pounds. This crossing will straighten out a bend in Avenue 7 while realigning Road 33 and allowing traffic to cross over the high-speed rail tracks east of State Route 99.

June 2018 Edition

2,000 Construction Jobs and Counting

A major milestone was crossed this month by the high-speed rail program as we celebrated creating the 2,000th construction job in the Central Valley.

“This project milestone represents significant progress on the nation’s first high-speed rail system,” said Chief Operating Officer Joe Hedges. “Once we expand out from the Valley to the north and the south, there are going to be hundreds of major structures that will need to be built, creating thousands of jobs and new opportunities.”

Since the start of construction in 2013, men and women from across the state have been dispatched to relocate utilities, abate and demolish structures, drill columns 80 feet into the ground and place girders on mega structures near the San Joaquin River.

For many of these workers, the opportunity to work on high-speed rail has been life-changing. Both apprentice ironworker Desrae Ruiz and her husband work on the project. She says before coming on she was working in retail and it just wasn’t providing enough for the couple and their daughter. Now she says they are able to reach goals they weren’t ever sure would be possible.

“It’s helping us a lot, it’s helping me get our house for the first time, helping me finish paying off my truck and we’re working on getting me back to school so I can reach another goal,” says Ruiz.

Apprentice ironworker Jonathan Abril shares a similar story. “Before I became an ironworker it was a check to check sort of thing, but now I’m able to save and do better for myself. Hopefully in the close future I can buy a house.”

Others who have been working the trades for years say the project is not only providing for their family financially, but also creating more time to be a family by allowing people who live in the Central Valley to work in their backyard.

“I worked seven years in LA, I worked in the Bay Area four or five years off and on, hit and miss everywhere, you know?” says journeyman rodbuster Manuel Vega. “They say for the next seven years I’ll be close to home. Can’t beat it, can’t beat it all. It’s a great feeling.”

These workers represent 21 union halls with the same goal of building the first high-speed rail system in the nation. High-speed rail will transform transportation in this state, but it is already transforming the lives of 2,000 construction workers and counting.

“It’s a good paying job, it puts a lot of people to work, if this wasn’t here all these people wouldn’t be working,” adds retired Navy investigator and now journeyman piledriver Laryl Helberg.

 

Featured Project: Cedar Viaduct | South Fresno

One of the largest structures on Construction Package 1, the Cedar Viaduct, will be about three quarters of a mile long when it’s completed alongside State Route 99. At the south end, crews are beginning to work on extending the structure over SR 99. Drilling for pier foundations has started, with shafts being drilled 86 feet deep on either side of the highway. A temporary concrete barrier will soon be set along the highway to create a work area that will help construct the viaduct as it is connected to the Muscat Viaduct a little further to the south. You can see a detailed look at the construction of the Cedar Viaduct by visiting the Cedar Viaduct page on BuildHSR.com.

Featured Project: Cedar Viaduct Featured Project: Cedar Viaduct

Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway | Central Fresno

At the Fresno Trench beneath State Route 180 (SR 180), construction begins on multiple elements of the trench. The excavation and shotcrete operation beneath SR180 is ongoing. Crews have excavated approximately 40 feet below the top of the freeway. To the north of SR 180, craftworkers are busy constructing the intrusion barrier walls. The barrier wall will separate the high-speed rail alignment from the existing freight rail that parallels the project. The wall will be 10 feet tall, three feet thick and extend nearly 1,200 feet in this area of the project and nearly 20,000 feet project wide. When complete, the trench will cross under SR 180, a rail spur and the Dry Creek Canal.

Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway

San Joaquin River Viaduct | North Fresno

On the south side of the San Joaquin River, crews are finishing up construction of pier caps to tie together the support columns. The cast-in-place construction of the deck that will carry high-speed trains is also progressing, as it links all the structures together. On the north side of the river, other crews are working on the structures where the viaduct will tie-in to embankment. The completed viaduct will form one of the largest structures on this first phase of the high-speed rail project.

San Joaquin River Viaduct San Joaquin River Viaduct San Joaquin River Viaduct

State Route 99 Realignment | Central Fresno

The southbound State Route 99 Clinton Avenue and Golden State Boulevard off-ramps are now open to traffic. Work is continuing on the northbound Clinton Avenue on-ramp, which is scheduled to open when northbound traffic on SR 99 is switched to the new highway alignment in the coming weeks. At the Ashlan Avenue Bridge, crews are continuing to form and subgrade the bent caps for the structure’s abutments. Falsework construction for the new bridge has also begun. A portion of SR 99 is being realigned about 100 feet to the west to make way for the high-speed rail alignment.

State Route 99 Realignment State Route 99 Realignment

Avenue 11 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 11, just east of Road 30 ½, the abutments for the overpass have been completed and bridge girders have been set. Crews are now beginning to form the bridge deck for this structure, which will take traffic over the high-speed rail alignment. A crane is seen lifting pre-cast concrete bridge deck panels onto the structure where they are carefully guided into place. Once the deck panels have been installed, the ironworkers will lay the deck steel. Next, carpenter and laborer crews will move in to form the edge of the deck and prepare for a concrete pour. Other crews have finished the block walls, which will retain the earthen embankment extending from the abutments.

Avenue 11 Grade Separation

Avenue 8 Grade Separation | Madera County

Girders have been set for the single span bridge at Avenue 8, which crosses the high-speed rail alignment east of State Route 99 in Madera County. The block wall leveling pads have been poured and fill-dirt is being compacted as the MSE blocks are being set for the retaining walls. Crews are currently forming and installing steel for the bridge diaphragms. Diaphragms stabilize the girders permanently and help improve load sharing of the bridge elements.

Avenue 8 Grade Separation

Road 27 Grade Separation | Madera County

A lot of activity can be seen at the northern boundary of Construction Package 1, where crews are getting closer to completing the Road 27 overcrossing. Dispatched workers were busy pouring concrete for the final supporting bent on the south side of the railroad tracks. A bent is composed of a column and cap element that the girders rest on. So far, the retaining wall on the south side of the bridge has been completed.

Road 27 Grade Separation

Avenue 15 Grade Separation | Madera County

Ironworkers have been hard at work setting forms and installing reinforcing rebar on the west abutment footing of the Avenue 15 overpass in Madera County. Towards the east side of the structure, drilling for the cast-in-place wall foundations that extend from each abutment is also underway. Columns for a bent have been poured and falsework will be constructed next to form the bent cap that will support the superstructure elements, such as the pre-cast girders and concrete deck.

Avenue 15 Grade Separation

Avenue 7 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 7 and Road 33, the abutment walls are taking shape as crews tie the rebar that will make up the interior of the abutment. The substructure is expected to be completed by the end of the month for this crossing that will straighten out Avenue 7, while realigning Road 33 and cross over the high-speed rail tracks east of State Route 99.

Avenue 7 Grade Separation

May 2018 Edition

Progress on the high-speed rail project is easy to see from North Madera to South Fresno. In this month's construction update we feature the Fresno Trench and State Route 180 Passageway where crews continue their excavation work under the highway. Keep reading to learn more about how much more excavation work there is to be done and what's being done on the rest of our projects.

Featured Project: Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway

At the Fresno Trench, crews are excavating farther underneath State Route 180 (SR 180). Excavation will continue until the trench is about 40 feet below existing ground level. When complete, the trench will cross under SR 180, a rail spur and the Dry Creek Canal. Rebar has been placed for the intrusion protection barrier wall which separates the future highspeed rail alignment from the existing freight rail that parallels the project. The barrier will be 10 feet tall and extend nearly 1,200 feet in this area of the project.

Cedar Viaduct | South Fresno

Barrier wall construction along the sides of the Cedar viaduct is nearly complete, with only a small section remaining to be poured. One of the largest structures on Construction Package 1, the Cedar Viaduct will be about three quarters of a mile long when it’s complete alongside State Route 99. At its north end, pier and abutment construction is continuing as the viaduct heads toward Golden State Boulevard.

Cedar Viaduct Cedar Viaduct Cedar Viaduct

San Joaquin River Viadcut | North Fresno

On the south side of the San Joaquin River, crews are finishing up construction of pier caps to tie together the support columns. The construction of the deck that will carry high-speed trains has also begun to link all the structures together. Concrete has also been poured for the pergola section at the southern end of the work area where high-speed trains will cross over the existing freight line. The completed viaduct will form one of the largest structures on this first phase of the high-speed rail project.

San Joaquin River Viadcut San Joaquin River Viadcut

Avenue 11 Grade Separation | Madera County

With the abutments completed and bridge girders set, crews are about to begin forming the bridge deck for this structure which will take Avenue 11 traffic over the high-speed train alignment east of Road 30 ½ in Madera County. Other crews are now working on the mechanically stabilized earthen (MSE) block walls which will retain the earthen embankment extending from the abutments.

Avenue 11 Grade Separation

State Route 99 Realignment | Central Fresno

Southbound State Route 99 traffic is now largely on new concrete pavement south of Ashlan Avenue in central Fresno. On the Clinton Avenue bridge, work is still ongoing on the structure’s north side for the final northbound entrance and southbound exit ramps and auxiliary lanes. Shifting the mainline about 100 feet to the west helps avoid high-speed rail impacts to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and a busy freight railway yard.

State Route 99 Realignment

Avenue 8 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 8, west of Road 33, girders were recently set for the one span bridge that will cross the high-speed train alignment. The MSE block wall leveling pad has been poured and the MSE blocks will start to be set this month. Crews are about to begin forming the bridge deck.

Avenue 8 Grade Separation

Avenue 12 Grade Separation | Madera County

MSE walls are complete on either side of the Avenue 12 bridge embankment, retaining the earthen fill on either side of the bridge. Earthmoving equipment is now working on the roadway grade. The dirt operation will focus on compacting the fill dirt that will carry traffic to the bridge structure and over the future high speed rail line.

Avenue 12 Grade Separation

Avenue 15 Grade Separation | Madera County

At Avenue 15, just east of Road 29, the drilling operation finished the western abutment and has moved east of the tracks to begin drilling the eastern abutment. A carpenter crew and ironworkers have mobilized on the west abutment footing; setting forms and installing reinforcing bar. Column forms for a bent (a bent is composed of a column and cap element that the girders rest on) will be removed next and falsework set around the columns. Once the falsework is complete, the forming of the bent cap will begin.

Avenue 15 Grade Separation

Road 27 Grade Separation | Madera County

The abutments and support structures for the Road 27 grade separation are nearing completion. Crews are constructing the bent cap for the bridge substructure, while to the south of the bridge, crews are setting the concrete forms for what will become a retaining wall along the west side of the road. Once the wall is completed fill dirt will be trucked in and placed to raise the road to the level of the crossing over the tracks.

Road 27 Grade Separation

April 2018 Edition

Construction Package 4 Work Begins

Crews began the first permanent work for Construction Package 4, drilling shafts and pouring concrete for support piers on what will be a high-speed train crossing over Garces Highway in Kern County. The structure will have eight support columns on the south side of the highway and 10 on the north side, each one drilled about 80-feet deep. Then a rebar column weighing about 17,000 pounds will be lowered into the shaft and concrete pumped into the hole. These will form the foundation for piers that will support a bridge structure to carry high-speed trains about 15 feet above Garces Highway.

 

Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway | Central Fresno

At the Fresno Trench, crews have broken through to the south side of State Route 180 and are excavating further underneath the highway. Excavation will continue until the trench is about 40 feet below existing ground level. When complete, the trench will cross under State Route 180, a rail spur and the Dry Creek Canal. The Dry Creek Canal phase 1 construction which involved re-lining sections of the canal is wrapping up in time for the irrigation season to begin. Construction has begun for the protective barrier that separates the high-speed rail alignment from the existing freight line that parallels the project. The barrier is 10 feet tall and will extend nearly 1,200 feet in this area of the project.

Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway

San Joaquin River Viadcut | North Fresno

On the south side of the San Joaquin River, crews are finishing up construction of pier caps to tie together the support columns. Once that process is complete, girders will be set to begin construction of a deck that high-speed trains will use to connect to the pergola section further south. The viaduct will carry high-speed trains over the river and freight line to form one of the largest structures on this first phase of the project.

San Joaquin River Viadcut San Joaquin River Viadcut

Cedar Viaduct | South Fresno

One of the largest parts of Construction Package 1, the Cedar Viaduct will be about three-quarters of a mile long when it’s complete alongside State Route 99. At its north end, pier construction is continuing as the viaduct heads toward Golden State Boulevard. Barrier wall construction along the sides of the structure is the next activity planned.

Cedar Viaduct

State Route 99 Realignment | Central Fresno

Southbound State Route 99 traffic is now largely on new concrete pavement near Clinton Avenue in central Fresno. Shifting the mainline about 100 feet to the west helps avoid impacts to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and a busy freight railroad yard.

State Route 99 Realignment

Avenue 11 Grade Separation | Madera County

With the east and west abutments complete, girders have now been set for this single span crossing. Crews are now working on the bridge deck for the structure that will take Avenue 11 traffic over the high-speed train alignment east of Road 30 ½ in Madera County. Crews have installed overhang and handrails on the exterior of the girders to enable workers to access the superstructure of the bridge.

Avenue 11 Grade Separation

Avenue 15 Grade Separation | Madera County

Earthmoving continues for the overcrossing of Avenue 15 in Madera County. Some excavation is also beginning in the area of the structure where a section will cross over the existing freight line. Final utility relocations are planned next, which will enable further construction to begin.

Avenue 15 Grade Separation

Road 27 Grade Separation | Madera County

On the north side of the work zone, the abutment and one support structure, known as a bent, are largely complete, while on the south side crews are still constructing the support piers and setting concrete forms. The crossing will take traffic over an existing freight line and the high-speed rail line north of the town of Madera.

Road 27 Grade Separation

March 2018 Edition

New High-Speed rail CEO and COO Tour Central Valley Construction

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (Authority) newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Brian P. Kelly, and Chief Operating Officer, Joseph Hedges, visited construction sites in Fresno County in mid February. They used the opportunity to meet with workers and small businesses building the nation’s first high-speed rail system.


“I am thrilled to be back in the Central Valley to get an up-close look at the work being done to deliver high-speed rail for the people of California,” said Authority CEO Brian P. Kelly. “This transformative project has helped create thousands of jobs and has bolstered economic activity for hundreds of small businesses throughout the state. Today, Fresno is the epicenter for this vital economic development.”

Their tour included a stop at the San Joaquin River viaduct in north Fresno. This 4,700-foot viaduct runs adjacent to Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) tracks and spans the San Joaquin River. A pergola structure is also featured to allow high-speed trains to cross over the top of UPRR and into the City of Fresno.

To date, more than 240 certified small businesses are working on Construction Packages 1-4, with as many as 1,700 workers dispatched to construction sites. More than 1,200 of those workers reside in the Central Valley.
Click below to see video of CEO Kelly’s tour and hear his thoughts on the project.

 

Avenue 12 Grade Separation | Madera County

A major milestone has been reached at the overcrossing for Avenue 12 in Madera County. Girders have been set for the bridge that will take traffic over the high-speed rail section of the crossing. Crews are now starting the preparatory work for the superstructure. This preparatory work includes installing overhang brackets on the exterior girders for a walkway, handrails for the crews, and installing safety tie off components on top of the girders to keep the crews safe. The structure will eventually carry traffic over the high-speed rail and a nearby freight line, a little east of Madera Community College.

Avenue 12 Grade Separation Avenue 12 Grade Separation Avenue 12 Grade Separation

Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway | Central Fresno

At the Fresno Trench, crews have broken through to the south side of State Route 180 and are excavating further underneath the highway. When complete, the trench will cross under SR 180, a rail spur and the Dry Creek Canal. The section of the canal where the high-speed trains will cross is currently being capped. Under the highway, steel beams are in place to provide support for the trench walls, while excavation will continue until the trench is about 40 feet below ground level.

Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway Fresno Trench & SR 180 Passageway

San Joaquin River Viaduct | North Fresno

Workers continue constructing the deck of the pergola section of the San Joaquin River Viaduct, tying rebar in preparation for a concrete deck pour. On the south side of the San Joaquin River, other crews build pier caps to tie together the viaduct support columns. The viaduct will carry high speed trains over the river and existing freight tracks to form one of the largest structures on this first phase of high-speed rail construction.

San Joaquin River Viaduct San Joaquin River Viaduct

Cedar Viaduct | South Fresno

Concrete has now been placed for the deck section of the Cedar Viaduct that crosses over North Avenue, creating a structure about a half-mile long. Ultimately, the completed Cedar Viaduct will span about three quarters of a mile alongside State Route 99. At the north end of the viaduct, concrete is being poured for the shaft of another support structure as the viaduct construction heads toward Golden State Boulevard.

Cedar Viaduct

Road 27 | Madera County

Preparing for a concrete pour, workers continue constructing the support structure, referred to as a bent, on the north side of the rail crossing for Road 27 in Madera County. Relocation of a power line that impacted construction on the south side of the tracks has allowed pier construction to begin there as well. The crossing will take traffic over an existing freight line and the future high-speed rail lines.

Road 27 Road 27

Avenue 15 | Madera County

Earth moving has begun for the overcrossing of Avenue 15 in Madera County. Fill dirt is being trucked to the site to raise the grade about 10 feet on either side of a power line while waiting for utility relocation. Dirt is trucked to the site then worked and compacted for the crossing that will take Avenue 15 traffic over the high speed and existing freight lines.

Avenue 15

Avenue 11 | Madera County

The east and west abutments have been poured for this single span bridge which will cross over the high-speed train alignment. Crews have begun to strip the abutment forms. Fill dirt has also been placed to on either side of the structure which will take traffic over the high-speed line east of Road 30 ½ in Madera County. Next, the site will be graded and prepared for girders to be landed on the structure.

Avenue 11 Avenue 11 Avenue 11

Avenue 8 | Madera County

Abutment construction is underway for the overcrossing at Avenue 8. Crews have installed rebar and are now placing the concrete forms for the abutments that are going up just east of State Route 99 in Madera County. Fill dirt has already been brought to the site and will be tied into the structure that will eventually become a bridge to take traffic over the high-speed trains.

Avenue 8

Avenue 7 | Madera County

Bent falsework has been erected around the columns in anticipation of the bent cap construction. The bent cap will sit upon the columns and support the girders. To the east and west of the bent, abutment footings have been poured, forms stripped, and the site backfilled. Carpenter and laborer crews have begun to build the abutment wall to the north of the structure. The wall forms will then be placed onto the abutments and reinforcing crews will mobilize to install the rebar.

Avenue 7

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Construction By The Numbers

As of November 8, 2018

Number of Jobs

CP 1: 1,632 jobs
CP 2-3: 683 jobs
CP 4: 258 jobs
Total 2,573 jobs

Small Business Revenue

CP 1: $210 million
CP 2-3: $26.6 million
CP 4: $12.6 million

Number of Small Businesses

CP 1: 132
CP 2-3: 127
CP 4: 50

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Toni Tinoco
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Toni.Tinoco@hsr.ca.gov
(559)274-8975

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Dan.Galvin@hsr.ca.gov
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