FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The design contract for the Central Valley’s high-speed rail stations has been approved by the California High-Speed Rail Board – another step towards making the project a reality.

On Thursday, the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (Authority) Board of Directors unanimously approved awarding the design and support services contract for the Merced, Fresno, Kings/Tulare, and Bakersfield stations that will serve high-speed rail passengers on the initial 171-mile segment.

The Authority awarded an approximately $35 million station design contract to Foster + Partners and Arup for the first two separately funded phases.

The first to advance the design work at the four station sites. This includes identifying right-of-way and utility relocation requirements necessary for construction. This phase is estimated to take 30 months.

The second is to progress to the final design and construction-ready documents, construction support, and commissioning.

“The first four Central Valley high-speed rail stations are one step closer to reality. High-speed rail stations will transform cities, spur economic development and create community hubs within the heart of our state.”

Tom Richards, California High-Speed Rail Authority Chairman.

Currently, the California high-speed rail project is under construction along 119 miles in California’s Central Valley at more than 30 active job sites. In the past several months, the Authority also started advanced design work on the alignment to extend work north into Merced and south into Bakersfield.