Secretary Foxx was accompanied on the tour by California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly and California High-Speed Rail Authority (CaHSRA) CEO Jeff Morales and met with CaHSR staff, as well as Fresno, Calif., Mayor Ashley Swearengin and Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA-16).
The group toured project sites including the Fresno River Viaduct near Madera, as well as the San Joaquin River Viaduct and the Tuolumne Street Bridge in Fresno. Approximately 119 miles of construction is underway in the Central Valley from Madera County to Kern County. Secretary Foxx's visit was concentrated in Construction Package 1, which has eight active construction sites within a 32-mile stretch.
Secretary Foxx was able to view the first freestanding structure of the system, the Fresno River Viaduct. The 1,600-foot aerial structure will carry high-speed trains over the Fresno River and State Route 145. Work on this site began in June 2015 and is expected to be complete by the end of 2016. Secretary Foxx also visited the San Joaquin River Viaduct, a 4,740-foot structure that will span the San Joaquin River in North Fresno and Union Pacific tracks parallel to State Route 99.
Secretary Foxx also learned about the steps being taken to build the system as a carbon-neutral project. CaHSRA requires its design-build contractors to recycle all concrete and steel and use the newest, cleanest diesel engines. The project has used more than 200 tons of 100-percent recycled steel in columns and structures. The project has recycled or stockpiled more than 19,800 tons of concrete, steel and other mixed construction materials. In the coming weeks, workers will be planting trees to offset any construction emissions.