March 2018 Edition
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.
Updates Per Project
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.