Black firms on winning team for $1.5 billion California High-Speed Rail contract


by Fred Jordan, San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce

Soon California High-Speed Rail will be streaking across the state – and Blacks will have helped build it.
Soon California High-Speed Rail will be streaking across the state – and Blacks will have helped build it.

“The winning team, Dragados USA, Inc., Flatiron West, Inc., and Shimmick Construction Company, Inc., collectively known as DFS, brings the necessary team experience to successfully complete the California High-Speed Rail Construction Package 2-3 Project,” the California High-Speed Rail Authority announced Monday, Dec. 29. The Authority is responsible for the planning, design, construction and operation of the first high-speed rail system in the nation. A consortium of 19 minority and women owned firms of all types – 13 Black – is part of the winning team for the $1.5 billion contract.

Fred Jordan, PE
Fred Jordan, PE

Construction Package 2-3 is a 60-mile route located within the counties of Fresno, Tulare and Kings and the cities of Hanford, Corcoran and Allensworth, California’s first Black town. The project calls for construction of at-grade, aerial and possible below grade sections for a high speed train. The $1.5 to $2 billion design-build contract will bring thousands of jobs and contracts to the Central Valley. The route will also provide environmental benefits, relieve roadway congestion and spur economic development.

Small Business/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise commitment

The Authority’s Small Business Program includes an overall 30 percent goal for small business participation, which includes a 10 percent goal for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and a 3 percent goal for Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises. The DFS team recognizes the local and specialty subcontractors as vital and productive members of the Project.

The Chamber consortium will participate in the $150 million for those federally certified as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. DFS is mandated to reach out to small and disadvantaged businesses to augment its self-performance capacity and utilize local and specialty subcontractors for a variety of tasks pertaining to project controls, construction, quality control and material supply.

SFAACCThe San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce worked tirelessly for weeks to put the DBE team proposal together in collaboration with DFS and is expected to provide administration for the SB-DBE team. F.E. Jordan Associates, Inc., a veteran of over 30 rail projects, will serve as project manager and/or coordinator for assigned work from DFS. John James, PE, outreach consultant for the DFS Team, will work on getting first tier assignments to the DBE Team.

Fred Jordan, PE, president of F.E. Jordan Associates, Inc., also heads the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce as president and chairman of the board. He can be reached at or


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