It’s another strategy by NIMBY zealots and pouting conservatives to keep California in the stone-age.
The Los Angeles Times reports that land acquisition delays have paralyzed the state’s high-speed rail effort.
The California project is supposed to be an economic engine for small business in the Central Valley, but one woman-owned construction firm is alleging in a suit that the project has paralyzed her company.
Virginia Villa made it a goal to win a small contract for high-speed rail construction for her firm, West Pacific Electric Co. in Lemoore. Villa spent about a year going to the rail authority’s outreach meetings, which it held to help meet a goal of issuing 30% of its work to small businesses.
In October 2016, Villa won a $685,000 subcontract from the Spanish construction giant Dragados USA to move telecommunications cables in five locations along the rail route. She purchased new equipment, hired more workers and put up more than $1 million in performance and bid bonds under the subcontract — limiting the firm’s ability to bid on other projects.
Villa’s suit, filed this week in Sacramento County Superior Court, alleges that Dragados issued the subcontract knowing that it did not have access to land at two of the work locations. After completing three of the locations, Villa’s company had to suspend its work. It asked Dragados to release it from the contract and return its bond.
Dragados has refused, said Lisa Nicolls, the Sacramento attorney representing Villa. Without a return of the bond, Villa had limited capacity to bid on other contracts, she said.