All Aboard Florida has selected a contractor to upgrade the 66-mile rail corridor between Miami and West Palm Beach, which is planned to eventually connect to Orlando.
In court documents released yesterday, the company said that it will move forward with the project regardless of the outcome of a legal challenge by residents and government officials on the Treasure Coast. Should the lawsuit succeed in blocking AAF from using tax-free bonds, the company will issue taxable bonds instead.
Construction is also underway on a terminal in Miami, and stations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–More than 100 construction workers will soon begin upgrading the 66-mile rail corridor between Miami and West Palm Beach. All Aboard Florida announced today that it has selected Archer Western to improve rail infrastructure on the corridor for its new passenger-rail service scheduled for early 2017. The contractor will provide construction-management and general-contracting services for the project, which include safety improvements and upgrades, track work, rail signalization and structural construction. It will also perform work on 185 grade crossings; install quiet zones, where applicable; and build a new Running Repair Facility in West Palm Beach.
“Modernizing the rail infrastructure is central to All Aboard Florida’s new rail operations and to our commitment to public safety,” said Mike Reininger, president of All Aboard Florida. “Archer Western is one of the top firms in the industry and brings to this project a depth of experience and history of results unparalleled in rail operations.”
All Aboard Florida is investing $1.5 billion to modernize the historic Henry Flagler rail corridor, improvements needed for its passenger-rail trains. Once work begins on the line, work crews will adhere to pre-set work schedules that All Aboard Florida has coordinated in advance with local communities along the corridor. Work on safety upgrades at grade crossings and quiet zones will be performed at the same time. The incremental funds needed for quiet zones will be funded through a partnership with the three South Florida Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs).
“Archer Western is proud to partner with All Aboard Florida to create this new passenger-rail system,” said Daniel P. Walsh, president of Archer Western. “We believe the service will transform the way people move between South and Central Florida, and will give residents and visitors a safe and comfortable alternative to highway-and-air travel. We are pleased to be a part of this team and are committed to delivering a safe and quality project.”
Archer Western has led multiple landmark transportation projects across Florida and throughout the country, including SunRail, the popular transit system in Orlando. Engineering News-Record, a respected news source in the industry, ranks Archer Western as the 12th largest builder of rail and mass-transit projects in the United States.
Construction for the All Aboard Florida project is expected to create more than 10,000 new jobs annually during construction, and 2,000 permanent jobs once service begins. Both Archer Western and All Aboard Florida are committed to employing DBE and MBE subcontractors on the project.
All Aboard Florida’s passenger-rail service is the only privately-owned-and-operated rail project in the country. Siemens, another leader in transportation, is manufacturing the trains for the service, featuring design and engineering advances today found only in Europe and Asia.
Once service is fully operational, All Aboard Florida will connect Florida’s two most popular travel destinations in less than three hours, making intermediate stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Construction has already started at the three South Florida stations.