Buzz: Feinstein's husband lands HSR contract

by DPR News Staff rotunda

California's senior U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has yet another reason to back California's oft-maligned high speed rail system – her husband's Tutor Perini is one part of a contractor troika that was awarded the contract for the first portion of the rail line.

The other two firms, Zachary and Parsons, submitted the lowest bid to the California High Speed Rail Authority and were awarded the contract today. As noted by CalWatchDog, low bid is a loose term – Tutor Perini-Zachary-Parsons bid $985,142,530 for the stretch of rail from Madera to Fresno.

The authority rated all five bids submitted for the Madera-Fresno rail line on a scale of 100 points (with a max of 70 points for price and 30 for technical merit). The Tutor Perini-Zachary-Parsons bid scored 70 points on price and the 20.55 on technical merit, the lowest among the five bidders.

UPDATE (10:05 AM): Tim Sheehan, The Fresno Bee's in-house High Speed Rail expert, reports that the Blum-led $985 million bid won out when the California High Speed Rail Authority changed its bidding standards from only considering the most technically merited to the cheapest.