Supporting the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s initiative to deliver the United States’ first high-speed rail system, HNTB provided engineering and environmental services for the San Francisco to San Jose (51 miles) and San Jose to Merced (84 miles) corridors, which will create new connections between California’s Bay Area and Central Valley.

Upon completion, the California high-speed rail system will be a fast, reliable, economically beneficial, environmentally conscious and sustainable solution that will usher in a new era of mobility for the mega-regions of the state.

HNTB led a robust, full-service team to deliver:

  • Conceptual and preliminary engineering studies of alignment alternatives
  • Preliminary design of trackway and associated structures
  • Draft and final environmental documents
  • Public outreach
  • Station area planning

To manage both project sections, HNTB’s project management team also provided project controls and scheduling support, including detailed risk analysis and overall quality assurance.

Public Outreach

Within the 135-mile stretch of the project, the diversity across stakeholders, environments, and communities represent a microcosm of California. The communities of this region each bring distinct personalities and concerns.  As a trusted advisor to CHSRA, the HNTB team seamlessly coordinated and tailored geotechnical, environmental and outreach activities for stakeholders and the public to help develop an informed, constructible project.

Preliminary Engineering

The HNTB team developed preliminary engineering for a set of alternatives that conformed to the goals of the CHSRA. In the urban sections of the rail system, the project will operate in a blended configuration with CHSRA and Caltrain sharing two passenger tracks and freight service on a separate track. Upgrades to the existing at-grade crossings will increase safety along the corridor through. The more rural sections will have dedicated, fully grade-separated CHSRA service with operating speeds up to 220 miles per hour and will include wildlife crossings, viaducts, and two tunnels.

Environmental Clearance

The HNTB team delivered two final environmental impact report and statement documents that resulted in full environmental clearance for the 135-mile alignment, which includes sensitive habitat for endangered and threatened species, wildlife migration areas, and environmental justice communities.

Location: San Francisco to Merced, CA

Client: California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA)

Services: Project management, public outreach, conceptual and preliminary engineering, environmental clearance