Highlights from Chapter 2:

The COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on California High-Speed Rail

The COVID-19 pandemic generated a global health and economic crisis and there continues to be uncertainty about future impacts. The pandemic has affected every sector of the state’s economy, and the California High-Speed Rail Program is no exception.

These impacts have included remote working, changes to construction processes, quarantined state and contracted workers, contract Force Majeure event schedule impacts, and extensions on environmental planning decisions and major procurements. It has also included furloughed state staffing to address budget impacts.

In response, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has had to make changes to the way it does business. We are making every effort to manage and mitigate the challenges facing program staff, construction personnel and project schedules and costs. However, given that the pandemic has not ended, these impacts and the corresponding downstream affects are still unfolding.


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Building for the Future of California

Key Facts

  • Due to pandemic and air quality issues at construction sites, 244 workers were quarantined, and a total of 104.5 person-days were missed
  • Based on COVID-related restrictions around the world, the Track and Systems proposal deadline was postponed to July 2021 to allow two pre-qualified international teams adequate time to prepare quality proposals
  • Volatile Cap-and-Trade auctions in May, August and November 2020 have resulted in $288 million lower revenues over previous auction proceeds, though the February 2021 auction showed improvement
  • The Authority has extended public comment periods on all draft environmental documents released during the pandemic

Central Valley Quarantine Summary

Central Valley Quarantine Summary 2020

Text description of the Central Valley Quarantine Summary


This chart summarizes the number of individuals quarantined in the Central Valley between April and December of 2020. The two high points on the chart come in May 20 to 25, with 45 individuals quarantined at the Wasco Viaduct Site and July 10, with 91 individuals quarantined at the Selma Site Office.

More Information

Learn more about the California High-Speed Rail program and business plan online at https://hsr.ca.gov/ or contact the Board of Directors at (916) 324-1541 or boardmembers@hsr.ca.gov.

Download the Plan

The California High-Speed Rail Authority makes every effort to ensure the website and its contents meet mandated ADA requirements as per the California State mandated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA standard. If you are looking for a particular document not located on the California High-Speed Rail Authority website, you may make a request for the document under the Public Records Act through the Public Records Act page. If you have any questions about the website or its contents, please contact the Authority at info@hsr.ca.gov.