Engineers have built about 24,000 bridges in California over the last century, but a new one under construction in Madera County for the state’s bullet train project shows that they can still lead to serious blunders.
Tutor Perini, the lead contractor building a 32-mile section of railway near Fresno, had completed part of a tall highway bridge that would go over future train tracks when the California High Speed Rail Authority last year issued a “stop work” order. The firm was told to tear down the construction on the Avenue 8 bridge and start over, the agency said this week.
In a statement, the authority said the Avenue 8 bridge design did not meet its “level of quality for a work product” and showed “signs of distress.” Some time after last September, the authority had Tutor Perini start on an entirely different design, agency documents show. The decision has not been previously reported.
The rail authority said it is discussing who will bear the cost of the rework.
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