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California Rail Authority Awards $1 Billion Contract

Aired 6/7/13 on KPBS News.

California’s High speed rail project is on track to start construction this summer. But questions are already being raised about the company chosen Thursday to begin the venture.

California's High Speed Rail Authority has awarded a nearly $1 billion contract to Southern California based Tutor Perini. The company will be responsible for preparing the first 30 miles of land on which rail track will eventually be laid. The entire project is expected to cover 800 miles throughout California. Construction on the first phase is set to begin this summer in Merced.

Tutor Perini presented the lowest bid of five companies competing for the contract. But it also received the lowest technical rating by state rail officials. Despite that low rating the Rail Authority board approved Tutor Perini with a unanimous six to nothing vote.

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