California high-speed railway reaches milestone at Wasco

The California High-Speed Rail Authority celebrated a milestone last week as the final pre-cast girders were placed on Construction Package 4 of the state’s planned high-speed rail project.

With the placement, all structures along Package 4, which is the 22-mile stretch between just north of the Tulare/Kern county line and Poplar Avenue south of the city of Wasco, are now in construction.

Carrying out the work is design-build contractor, California Rail Builders, a joint venture of Ferrovial Construction and Griffith Company.

Its crews worked through the night to place 12 pre-cast concrete girders over the State Route 46 underpass in Wasco to make a bridge that will carry high-speed trains parallel to the BNSF railroad, the authority said on 8 July.

California high-speed rail will connect the California’s most populous regions, running from San Francisco in the north to the Los Angeles basin. Trains capable of running at speeds over 200 miles per hour will be able to make the journey in under three hours. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totalling 800 miles with up to 24 stations.

There are currently 119 miles under construction at 30 active sites in the Central Valley.

Last month on Package 4, crews installed 15 pre-cast girders at the Merced Avenue Grade Separation south of Wasco. Those girders spanned around 177 feet and are some of the longest manufactured by subcontractor Con-Fab California.

Earlier this spring, the last four of 120 pre-cast concrete girders were placed on the pergola section of the Wasco Viaduct.

Since the start of construction, the California high-speed rail project has created more than 8,000 construction jobs, a majority of which go directly to those living in the Central Valley.

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