High-speed train chooses Fort Worth, Irving companies as construction nears

Texas Central rendering

Texas Central, developer of the investor-owned high-speed train project, announced Aug. 14 an agreement with Irving-based Fluor Enterprises Inc., the primary operating subsidiary of Fluor Corporation and Fort Worth-based The Lane Construction Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Salini Impregilo, as the project moves into its next phase.

Texas Central, Fluor and Lane will be working together on refining and updating the project’s construction planning and sequencing, scheduling and cost estimates, procurement and other design and engineering activities related to the civil infrastructure.

“Fluor’s global expertise in developing the world’s largest megaprojects, matched with its ability to provide integrated solutions to clients across the globe, position the company well with Texas Central,” said Hans Dekker, president of Fluor’s infrastructure business line. “We will use our industry experience and proven track record of delivering high-speed rail projects to provide high-value services for this significant infrastructure project.”

Fluor will support Texas Central during the preliminary development by refining the project’s engineering, design-build cost estimate, schedule and construction planning, and potentially further phases of development. Under the agreement, after the development phase and financial close, Fluor and Lane would be the preferred design-builder of the project.

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The announcement marks a significant step in the development of the multi-billion-dollar project – a 240-mile line that will connect North Texas and Houston in 90 minutes, with a midway stop in the Brazos Valley.

“We are excited to partner with firms that have deep Texas roots. This is the latest in a long list of Texas-based companies helping build the train, including Freese & Nichols, Contract Land Staff and Survey And Mapping,” Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar said.

He said the investor-led project, which is not taking federal or state grants for its construction or operations, wanted a partnership familiar with Texas, focused on creating jobs and opportunities here.

Fluor has expertise designing and constructing high-speed train infrastructure, along with a record of accomplishment on large, complex civil construction projects for more than 100 years. Lane has more than 125 years of experience in leading heavy civil construction projects, specializing in highways, bridges, rail, metro and mass transit, airport systems, and power and energy projects.

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Texas Central said Fluor and Lane have no equity or ownership stake in the project and will not be involved in land acquisition.

Lane has been involved in extensive mass transit works in the U.S., performing all aspects of work, including design, permitting, quality control, environmental requirements, construction, system integration and system safety certification.

“This will be America’s first true high-speed train, and we’re eager to be part of the next generation of sustainable infrastructure,” Robert E. Alger, president and CEO of The Lane Construction Corp. said:

Lane has been working in Texas continually since the early 1980s. Among its Texas projects, it is leading a $300 million design-build joint venture to construct managed lanes on SH 360 from Interstate 20 to US 287 south of Arlington; extending runways and taxiways at Ft. Worth Alliance Airport; and reconstructing segments of Interstate 35 in North Fort Worth, Waco, Austin, and San Antonio. The signature Brazos River Bridges on I-35 in Waco won the 2014 Engineering Excellence Award. Lane is also a joint venture partner on the $1 billion I-35 Express project from Dallas to Denton.

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