ICE® 44B Accelerates CA High Speed Rail Project

ICE® 44B Accelerates CA High Speed Rail Project   

Editor: Debbie Reaney 

Forefront Deep Foundations, a subcontractor for the Dragados/Flatiron Joint Venture (DFJV), is busy creating a firm foothold for the high-speed rail in California. Specializing in driven pile, shoring, and other deep foundation systems throughout California, this Newport Beach-based DBE/SBE contractor is currently building two temporary work trestles that will facilitate construction of a permanent precast bridge in the Central Valley. Part of the California High Speed Train Project: Fresno to Bakersfield Section Project (EP 18956-4), also known as the The Dutch John Cut Package (CP 2-3), this is the second significant construction contract executed on the Initial Operating Section since breaking ground in 2019.   

These temporary "work trestles" are being installed across two separate locations along the Kings River to allow continued access during construction of the railroad bridges near Laton, CA. The trestles are being placed across Dutch John Cut and Cole Slough. As both waterways flow into the Kings River, this job is important for the High-speed rail and is being constructed to work within an adopted flood control plan. This is just one of several challenges on this project including environmental constraints of working in the riverbed, various unknown soil conditions and an aggressive schedule. Thankfully as seasoned heavy civil construction professionals, the Forefront Team has taken these challenges in stride and continues to chug forward. In fact, to aid in combating some of these issues the subcontractor chose to go with the ICE® 44B specifically due to its efficiency and time savings installing pipe piles and wisely utilized it to establish the piles prior to final installation with the impact hammer.   

According to Forefront president, Jeff Bird, the crew is "using an ICE® 44B vibratory hammer to efficiently establish 172 36" x .625" pipe piles x 79' approx. 40' in the ground followed by an impact hammer to further drive them to grade". This portion of the job extends approximately 65 miles from the terminus of Construction Package 1 at East American Avenue in Fresno to one mile north of the Tulare-Kern County line and includes approximately 26 grade separations in the counties of Fresno, Tulare, and Kings, including multiple viaducts, underpasses, and overpasses. When completed, the trestles will support two large capacity cranes; each weighing 1,431,000 lb (about 649090.15 kg); which will be used to install precast concrete "tub" girders for the new railroad bridge. Once the permanent bridge is built the temporary trestles will be removed. As of September 2023, construction is forecast for completion by early 2026.  

California High-Speed Rail will eventually go from the Bay Area to Southern California and is among the largest and most anticipated projects the state has seen in decades. By 2030 this monumental first high-speed rail system in the United States is expected to connect 6 of the 10 largest cities in California and is on track to contribute to economic development of the area while at the same time helping to create a cleaner environment - preserving both agricultural and protected lands along with inspiring job growth. In fact, since the start of construction, the Authority has created more than 10,000 construction jobs, a majority going to residents from the Central Valley. This includes 3,429 that have gone to residents from Fresno County, 1,946 from Kern County, 1,033 from Tulare County, 442 from Madera County, and 369 from Kings County. As family-owned American small businesses, both Forefront Deep Foundations and International Construction Equipment, Inc. (ICE®) understand the importance of supporting the local economy and surrounding communities by providing safe infrastructure and promoting residential prosperity. We are proud to be part of this historical project with partners like Forefront and applaud them as they help Californians speed towards the future! 

Learn more about the ICE® 44B 

Media Contact-     
Pollyanna Cunningham, MA, MBA     
Vice President Marketing, Brand and Media Relations   

Vice President IT and IT Comm  
ICE® - International Construction Equipment, Inc     
Office - 704-821-8200     
Email -   

Posted in Vibratory Pile Hammers. Tagged as Deep Foundation, ICE 44B, ICEUSA, Infrastructure, Railroad, Vibratory Hammer.

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