California Construction News staff writer
Construction of California’s high-speed rail project are pumping billions of dollars into California’s economy and contributing to positive economic benefits throughout the state, according to the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s latest 2022 Economic Analysis Report.
“High-speed rail creates good-paying jobs and generates income for Californians while leading the way for the state’s future transportation,” said authority CFO Brian Annis. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the federal government and our local partners as we build this transformative project for California.”
Last month, officials celebrated a historic milestone, announcing the creation of more than 10,000 construction jobs since the start of high-speed rail construction. Most of these jobs have gone to Central Valley residents and men and women from disadvantaged communities.
“This project is not only reconnecting the Central Valley to the rest of the state, but it is improving the economic prosperity of our region,” said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer. “Creating good-paying jobs.
“High-speed rail will transform the Valley and California and will be a model for the country.”
More than $9.8 billion has been committed to projects since 2006 in its planning and construction, creating an estimated 80,000 job-years and sparking $6 billion in total direct labor income earned by workers on the project and $16 billion in total economic activity.
Completing the initial Merced to Bakersfield operating segment would result in a total of 325,000 job-years of employment and total economic activity of $65.1 billion, the report states.
As of December 2022, more than 760 certified small businesses throughout the state are also helping build high-speed rail. To date more than $1.3 billion has been paid to certified small businesses, disadvantaged business enterprises and disabled veteran business enterprises in California for their work.
Work has started to extend the 119 miles under construction to 171 miles of future electrified high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield. The project has more than 30 active construction sites in California’s Central Valley, with the Authority having environmentally cleared 422 miles of the high-speed rail program from the Bay Area to the Los Angeles Basin.