California high-speed rail project reaches construction worker milestone
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has revealed that it has surpassed 5,000 construction workers dispatched since the start of construction of the high-speed rail system in the Central Valley.
Credit: California High-Speed Rail Authority
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority), is responsible for planning, designing, building and operating the nation’s first high-speed rail system. California high-speed rail will connect the megaregions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands.
On 17 December 2020, the Authority revealed that it has met a significant milestone – surpassing 5,000 construction workers dispatched since the start of construction of the high-speed rail system in the Central Valley. Nearly 77 per cent of these workers come from eight counties in the Central Valley, with workers from 43 different California counties participating overall.
Authority CEO, Brian Kelly, said: “Today more than ever, it’s important that we recognise that investing in smart and forward-thinking infrastructure leads to good-paying and permanent jobs that can lift entire regions. We don’t have to choose between combating climate change and creating jobs – we can do both with the right kind of investment in our future. Construction is booming throughout the Central Valley thanks to the more than 5,000 hardworking women and men building the nation’s first high-speed rail system.”
Since the start of construction the 5,000-plus dispatched workers have been building 119 miles of high-speed rail in the Central Valley, where there are currently 35 active construction sites. In addition, more than 570 certified small businesses throughout the state are contributing to the high-speed rail programme.
The Authority is also partnering in local job training efforts. In October 2020, the Central Valley Training Center, located in Selma, welcomed its first cohort of 30 students to be part of a 16-week programme that will provide pre-apprenticeship classes and hands-on construction industry training for residents looking to work on high-speed rail. Since the opening of the training centre, nearly 500 Central Valley residents have applied to take part in the programme. The next cohort will begin in February 2021.
when complete, the high-speed rail network will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200mph and will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations.