- Under a $ 16 billion contract signed this week, the Italian contractor Webuild and its American subsidiary Lane Construction have been selected to build a high speed railway between Dallas and Houston. The project with the private developer Texas Central Railroad will connect the two cities in 90 minutes, with a stop in Brazos Valley near Texas A&M University.
- Based on the Central Japan Railway Tokaido Shinkansen system, the railway will transport travelers at speeds of up to 200 mph, faster than any other rail service in the United States, according to Texas Central.
- Construction will take five to six years and will begin once Texas Central has finalized all pre-construction permits, according to the company site. Total costs for the project will be approximately $ 20 billion, which includes the construction of lines, tracks, viaducts, berms, maintenance facilities, electrical substations and three passenger stations.
Webuild and Lane will oversee the civil engineering work, which includes the design and construction of 236 miles of railroads, viaducts, as well as buildings and maintenance services and other equipment, industrial buildings, train depots and facilities. Much of the rail line will be elevated to reduce the impact that the infrastructure will have on residents and landowners in the counties crossed by the rail line.
Last month, Texas Central operated Kiewit and its subsidiary Mass. Electric will install the main electrical systems of the project. The $ 1.6 billion contract includes critical safety and system elements such as pulling power, signaling and communications equipment.
Despite the selection of contractors, some local and state officials fought against the project, and some landowners questioned the ability of the private company to acquire building rights to their property.
For example, Justice Trey of Waller County Duhon testified virtually before the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last month, saying the current estimated costs of the project are much higher than expected and Texas Central only got a small part of private funding. He called on lawmakers to make sure the project is not funded with taxpayer dollars.
We are building was established in 2014 when Salini increased its scope by merging with Impregilo, followed by Lane and, more recently, Astaldi to create the We are building Group. The Texas Central contract brings the value of the construction orders in the Milan-based company’s backlog from the United States to 35%. Other We are building rail projects in the United States include the central subway tunnel in San Francisco and the extension of the LYNX blue line in Charlotte, North Carolina.