CEO Report

Brian P. Kelly, CEO
November 18, 2021

SIgned Federal Funding | New Funds | State and Federal Integrate Strategy | Build Back Better | DC Visit | Executed Change Order | Track & Systems Contract Update | Delivery Services Contract Update | Relevant Materials

Five areas in today’s report:

  1. Federal funding developments.
  2. Washington, DC meetings summary.
  3. Recently executed change order.
  4. Updates on the track and systems procurement;
  5. and industry conflict of interest issues for the Rail Delivery Partner procurement.


  • Biggest investment in passenger rail in 50 years.
  • Biggest investment in roads and bridges in 70 years.
  • Biggest investment ever in public transit.

President Biden has signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Many like to say there’s nothing specific for high-speed rail in this bill. But there’s $58 billion in beyond-baseline funding in several areas, many of which we intend to compete in. For example, the RAISE grant, like we pursed successfully with Wasco. Very significant funding bill, a lot of opportunity.


  • This chart, which I’ve shared before, below displays six different pots, totaling more than $50 billion of funds. These are all pots we will be playing in and already play in. We’ve applied to some of these funds before, been successful in some instances, and we intend to keep competing in these funds going forward.
  • The substance of this development: this is a massive opportunity.
  • You can expect more from Governor Newsom in his budget estimate in January in the role we may play in these funds.

Federal Competitive Grant Programs as of September 2021

ProgramEligibility / PurposeAppropriatedAdditional AuthorizedTotal
National Intercity Passenger Rail
  • High-Speed Rail and all intercity rail expansion projects.

  • Multi-year commitments possible.
$12 Billion$4.1 Billion$16.1 Billion
Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI)
  • Capital projects that will improve passenger and freight rail transportation systems in terms of safety, efficiency, or reliability.
$5 Billion$5 Billion$10 Billion
National/Regional Significance
(Mega Project)
  • Broad eligibility for different types of infrastructure.
$5 Billion$5 Billion$10 Billion
Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE)
  • Invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives.
$7.5 Billion$0$7.5 Billion
Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA)
  • Fund highway and freight projects of national and regional significance.

  • Available for rail/highway crossing projects.
$3.2 Billion$4.8 Billion
(Contract Authority)
$8 Billion
Rail/Highway Crossing Elimination
  • Highway-rail grade crossing improvement projects that focus on improving the safety and mobility of people and goods.
$3 Billion$2.5 Billion
(Contract Authority)
$5.5 Billion
  • Key to Terms:

    • Appropriated – Funds are appropriated in the legislation

    • Authorized – Funds can only be released upon future appropriation by Congress

    • Contract Authority – Funds come from the Highway Trust Fund and do not require appropriations to be released


California is uniquely positioned to leverage federal investments:

  • California high-speed rail is unique nationally.
  • We can match federal dollars through certain funds here in California.
  • Other state and regional projects of significance.
  • Available state and regional funds to match federal investments.

A coordinated statewide strategy will yield best possible outcomes:

  • Projects of mutual benefit to multiple agencies / systems.
  • Optimal “win-win” solutions for California and federal partners.

Next steps:

  • Establish strategic priorities for high-speed rail project funding targets.
  • Screen elements of high-speed rail projects for priority high-speed rail funding sources.
  • Collaborate with state and regional transportation agencies on those projects of mutual benefit for other funding sources.


  • There is another bill pending, the reconciliation bill. Includes human infrastructure and digital divide issues.
  • Totals around $1.8 trillion.
  • The House Committee on Transportation released language of the Build Back Better Act, including $10 billion in designated high-speed rail funding, based on project speed.
  • The designated funding would provide up to 90% federal match towards high-speed rail planning or capital projects within a high-speed rail corridor.
  • The Build Back Better Act is expected to be taken up in the House first and then the Senate in the coming weeks.
  • Expected completion in December.
  • This is additive to the previous funds mentioned.


  • Visit to Washington, DC in early November with Board Chairman Richards:
  • Met with Federal Railroad Administration.
  • 12 individual congressional meetings.
  • Two stakeholder round table meetings, national labor and American Public Transit Association.
  • One group congressional meeting organized by Congressman Costa and Congressman Moulton.
  • 4 days, covered a lot of ground.
  • And of course the bill passes upon our return, and then a few weeks later we hear we were successful in the RAISE grant with the City of Wasco.


Hanford Viaduct Change Order (No. 148.01):

  • Compensates contractor to begin construction of the Hanford Viaduct superstructure.


  • Construction of the superstructure can proceed, remainder of construction for the Hanford Viaduct is expected to take 24 – 30 months.
  • Change order allows work to progress while Authority and Dragados-Flatiron Joint Venture reach agreement on cost for remaining work and value for change away from the Alternative Technical Concept (ATC 17).

Total Amount:

  • $50 million


  • Two active bidders continue to be engaged and we continue to work with them to respond to questions.
  • We anticipate proposals will be due in April 2022.
  • Anticipated recommendation of contract award at July 2022 Board Meeting.
  • Anticipate the first Notice to Proceed to be issued by August 1, 2022.


  • We are engaging with industry regarding the Request for Qualifications (RFQ).
  • Some entities have inquired about potential conflicts to determine eligibility.
  • Seven requests for legal review related to contract and potential conflicts.
  • Authority Legal team has requested documents from contractors and started their review.


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