Kern County residents can use the new website from the High-Speed Rail Authority to see HSR plans in the county and learn more about opportunities for small businesses to get involved, among other things.

The HSR Authority lauds its new website, BuildHSR.com, for providing "quick and easy access" to information about construction in the Central Valley by providing updates on projects in progress and announcing road closures.

While construction has been mostly occurring in areas surrounding Fresno, the contract to build a section from about a mile north of the Tulare/Kern County line south to Poplar Avenue — called Construction Package 4 — was signed in 2016. The contract is for about $444.2 million, and that section involves moving four miles of existing Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks.

Details about this 22-mile stretch are easily accessible from the BuildHSR homepage under "Construction Packages." Contact information for the CP 4 project and construction manager and information about the small business program can also be found on this page.

The HSR Authority's goal is to have 30 percent small businesses participate in building the HSR.

For Bakersfield or Kern County residents, there's an interactive map showing the high-speed train route through the county and the two options for traveling through Bakersfield.

There isn't an exact timeline available for construction in this section, but those reviewing the map can see a route going through Bakersfield along Truxtun Avenue and one preferred by the city that goes up Highway 99 and includes a station at F Street and Golden State Avenue.

The HSR Authority created the second proposed route after the Bakersfield City Council filed a lawsuit alleging a California Environmental Quality Act violation. The city dropped the lawsuit when the authority agreed to create a route that didn't go through Bakersfield's downtown, along Truxtun Avenue.

CP 4 is part of HSR's initial operating segment, which spans from San Francisco to Los Angeles and has an expected completion year of 2029.

Dorothy Mills-Gregg can be reached at (661) 395-7368. Follow her on Twitter via @TBCCityBeat.

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