One of the most visible structures so far on California’s future bullet-train route through the central San Joaquin Valley reached a milestone Wednesday as the state’s High-Speed Rail Authority announced the completion of the Cedar Avenue viaduct at the south end of Fresno. The 3,700-foot viaduct, or elevated guideway, will take the electric-powered trains up and over Highway 99, Cedar and North avenues at speeds of up to 220 mph. Tutor-Perini / Zachry / Parsons, the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s contractor for a 32-mile construction contract spanning from north of Madera to American Avenue south of Fresno, began work at the site in mid-2015 with blast testing of pilings used to support the viaduct. Cables slung from arches support the deck of the 3,700-foot-long Cedar Viaduct for California’s high-speed rail project spans Highway 99 at the south end of Fresno. The viaduct will carry high-speed trains on elevated tracks up and over traffic on the freeway and Cedar and North avenues. Completion of the structure was announced on May 10, 2023. Contributed California High-Speed Rail Authority Eight years later, the work is deemed complete, although it will likely be seven to 10 more years before trains begin rolling over the viaduct and the rest of the 119 miles of the rail route now under construction in Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties. Train operations would commence after construction is extended, tracks laid and systems installed between future stations in downtown Merced and Bakersfield — a distance of about 171 miles.

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