Dive Brief: Under a $16 billion contract signed this week, Italian contractor Webuild and its American subsidiary Lane Construction have been selected to build a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston. The project with private developer Texas Central Railroad will connect the two cities in 90 minutes, including a stop in Brazos Valley near Texas A&M University. Based on the Tokaido Shinkansen rail system in central Japan, the railroad will transport passengers at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, faster than any other rail service in the United States, according to Texas Central. Construction will take five to six years and begin once Texas Central has finished all pre-construction permits, according to the company’s website. The total costs of the project will be about $20 billion, which includes the construction of lines, tracks, bridges, berms, maintenance facilities, electric power stations and three passenger stations. Dive Insight: Webuild and Lane will oversee civil engineering work, which includes the design and construction of 236 miles of railroads and bridges, as well as buildings, maintenance services and other equipment, industrial buildings, train depots, and utilities. A large part of the railway will be raised to reduce the impact of infrastructure on residents and landowners in the provinces through which the railway will pass. Last month, Texas Central hired Kiewit and Mass. Electric subsidiary to install the project’s basic electrical systems. The $1.6 billion contract includes critical safety and systems components such as traction, signaling and communications equipment. Despite the selection of contractors, some local and state officials fought against the project, and some landowners questioned the private company’s ability to obtain construction rights on their property. For example, Waller County Judge Trey Duhon testified before the US House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last month, saying that the project’s current estimated costs are much higher than previously expected, and that Texas Central has secured only a small portion of the private sector. financing. He asked lawmakers to ensure that the project was not financed with taxpayer money. Webuild was created when Salini merged with Impregilo in 2014, followed by Lynn, and more recently Astaldi to create the Webuild Group. The Texas Central contract raises the value of construction orders in the US-based company’s backlog to 35%. Other Webuild rail projects in the United States include the Central Subway Tunnel in San Francisco and the LYNX Blue Line Extension in Charlotte, North Carolina.