The all-important first contract awarded by the California High-Speed Rail Authority went to the lowest bidder with the worst technical score after a change in the procurement rules favored Tutor Perini’s bid over a foreign offer by one point out of 100.
The technical score of the Spanish-South Korean joint venture led by Dragados was ranked 20% higher than that of Tutor/Zachry/Parsons. But Tutor’s low bid of $985 million won the day with a combined price (70%) / technical (30%) score of 90.55 vs. 89.68 for Dragados.
“Seems like an inauspicious start,” says a California transportation veteran. “They were going to do a public opening of the price but didn’t, and then it ends up this close!”