CEO Report – December 2023

CEO Report

Brian P. Kelly, CEODecember 6, 2023

Industry Awareness Day | Merced and Bakersfield Extension |Business Plan Update |Relevant Materials

Industry Awareness Day Summary

    • The Industry Awareness Day event was held on Wednesday, November 15, 2023
    • The purpose of the Industry Awareness Day was to provide information on the current and upcoming rail procurements aimed at delivering the first 171-mile operational segment of the California High-Speed Rail project.
      • Part of a deeper dive into communicating with our industry partners including getting feedback on draft Requests for Qualifications
    • The event was the first in-person industry event since the COVID-19 pandemic
    • 343 in-person and virtual attendees participated
    • A question-and-answer session was held at the event, addressing both in-person and virtual questions from attendees.
    • Online resources:

Merced and Bakersfield Extension

  • The Authority is on schedule to complete the Draft Configuration Footprint for Merced and Bakersfield extensions.
    • Value Engineering and Value Analysis workshops were conducted in late October and early November. The Authority team is reviewing the recommendations to be considered for the final design.
  • The Authority and Stantec’s team hosted a Community Open House and Workshop in the cities of Chowchilla and Merced on November 8th and 15th to provide project updates.
  • The Authority received a grant from the 2022 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (2022 CRISI) Program. This $202 million grant in federal funds will complete the design, purchase right-of-way, and construct six grade separations in the City of Shafter. The grade separations are at Poplar Ave, Fresno Ave, Shafter Ave, Central Ave, Lerdo Hwy, Riverside St.
  • The Authority started monthly coordination meetings with FRA on November 14, 2023.
  • Upcoming Items in 2024 for extensions
    • The Authority won over $3 billion grant from the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program to accelerate construction in the Central Valley and advance design work on the extensions
      • Shows the federal government is a partner in the Authority’s expansion from the 119 to the full 171-mile segment
      • Great kudos to the Authority team, management and Board; this is a hard-earned victory
    • The Authority Board to consider issuing NTP-2 for 100% design on the entirety of both extensions and to commence early targeted right-of-way acquisition

Business Plan Update

  • Required by PUC Section 185033
    • Foundational document for implementing the program
    • Required every two years (even years)
  • 2024 Business Plan
    • Draft released in February for 60-day public comment review
    • Board to adopt at April 2024 Board of Directors Meeting
    • Due to Legislature (by statute) May 1, 2024
    • Extensive draft preview at the January 2024 Board of Directors Meeting


Board of directors

Board Resolutions

View the Board Resolutions


Board of Directors Secretary
(916) 324-1541

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