California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR), Construction Package 1 - Design/Build

Setting the stage for transformative transportation

The long-held vision is finally becoming a reality: high-speed rail connecting the north and south of the Golden State. The inaugural section is underway, with a 29-mile stretch between Madera and Fresno that will improve the quality of life for residents, businesses and agricultural land owners in multiple jurisdictions.

As a managing partner of the joint-venture team working for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Harris’ experts are working to deliver this historic project—which has become a model for success across the United States.

Harris & Associates' involvement—part of the Authority's first-ever construction-management contract—is to provide Independent Quality Assurance (IQA) of all project elements including:

  • Verification, Validation & Self Certification (VV&SC)
  • Independent Checking Engineer oversight
  • Independent Site Engineer oversight
  • Safety and security
  • Public outreach
  • Design oversight
  • Construction oversight
  • Third-party coordination
  • Environmental oversight
  • Contract management

Core Elements

The first leg of this landmark $1.6 billion transportation project will connect the cities of Madera and Fresno in California’s Central Valley. The 29-mile section includes:

  • Preparation of subgrade for the first section along the approved hybrid alignment route
  • Construction of certain sections to be completed at-grade, on embankment, in below-grade trenches and tunnel, and on elevated structures

The hybrid alignment route begins along the west side of the existing BNSF Railway line, turns south across the San Joaquin River and the Union Pacific Railroad and continues along the west side of the Union Pacific track. It then uses the existing State (SR-99) right-of-way, requiring the relocation of Golden State Boulevard and adjacent SR-99.

Beyond the Blueprints

Building this section of railroad entails building good relationships, since the eyes of the entire state are watching intently. Given the complicated hybrid route and required relocation of roads, Harris is working with the City of Fresno and local utilities to keep the project on track, and with Caltrans to coordinate two miles of highway relocation.

On this first project for a new Authority, Harris is intimately involved in establishing guidelines and procedures, and helping the Authority to implement design/build—all essential elements of success.

Meet the Team

Ehab Gerges, PE

Ehab Gerges, PE

Chief Business Development Officer / Program + Construction Management Division President


California High Speed Rail Authority


Madera to Fresno, CA


Rail + Transit


Construction Management


High-Speed Rail