For the state to meet a 2022 deadline associated with a funding agreement it has with the federal government, parts of the contract are essential. The Trump administration and California are in the middle of a legal fight over the money after the administration pulled almost $1 billion in federal money earmarked for the project.
Companies that have already signed contracts for other parts of the hi-speed rail project could be prevented from competing for this project under certain conflict of interest issues. Board member Daniel Curtin is concerned about this. “Losing the experience of those who are building our project now on the grounds that that’s going to give them a heads up on the next part of the project actually sounds counterintuitive to me,” he said.
Vacca, the chief program manager, said those contractors could still be eligible for other elements of the project. He said the conflict of interest provisions are required by law.