- Texas Central Partners has chosen Italian construction and engineering firm Salini Impregilo to lead civil construction on its approximately $12 billion to $15 billion Dallas-to-Houston high-speed rail system. The contractor has constructed approximately 4,000 miles of rail internationally, in Australia, Europe, Asia and the Americas.
- Under a limited notice to proceed, the contractor, through its Lane Construction Corp. business unit, and the project's design-build team will start initial engineering and design of the project's civil infrastructure. Salini/Lane will perform all work to the top of the rail, which includes viaducts, embankments and drainage. Salini/Lane will also participate in the development of schedules and cost estimates, as well as logistics and project strategies. When work under the limited notice is complete, the design-build contract can advance, paving the way for financial close and the start of construction.
- Texas Central is waiting on the Federal Railroad Administration's final environmental review so it can incorporate the agency's final approved route into its plans, of which the draft environmental review is serving as a guide. That document expressed support for many aspects of the privately funded project, including its ability to meet the transportation needs of a growing population and its role as a more environmentally friendly transit option.
In August, Salini sold Lane's plants and paving division for $555 million, about $100 million more than it paid for Lane when it bought the company. Free of that business unit, Salini said Lane will focus on large, complex U.S. infrastructure projects.
In addition to the Texas bullet train project, Lane is underway with the $2.3 billion Interstate 4 expansion project in Orlando, Florida, and the $5.6 billion Purple Line light-rail project in Maryland.
As part of a joint venture project, Lane will also be participating in the $673 million contract to build express lanes along Interstate 10 in Southern California. Lane is a 60% partner in that deal, which translates to a $404 million share.
Salini is just one of many foreign-based contractors that look to the U.S. for big opportunities. Skanska USA, one of Lane's partners in the I-4 construction project, is a division of Sweden-based Skanska. Balfour Beatty, headquartered in the United Kingdom, counts a number of U.S. highway and public utility projects in its portfolio. Spain-based Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) has worked on the New York City subway projects and other major infrastructure projects throughout the U.S., including highway expansions in Connecticut and Chicago.