The Bullet Train Project Gets Some Changes in Management


Railway station at night

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There has been yet another big change for California's bullet train project.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a new management "upheaval" is under way.

Brian Kelly is the chief executive officer of the rail authority. He made an announcement saying, "I am starting a reorganization of this authority so we can deliver what we have promised. And they will continue. There are going to be a lot of changes in the next few weeks and months".

One of these massive changes includes management.

Roy Hill is the "deputy chief operating officer and WSP's top executive in Sacramento" and is no longer working on the project. There have been allegations that Hill had stock worth over $100,000 in Jacobs Engineering when he co-signed a modification in the contract for a construction team including that company. Now, the Fair Political Practices Commission is launching an investigation into the issue.

Now, it seems unlikely that Hill will be coming back to the project.

Brian Kelly commented on the matter by saying, "Our view was to give him some space while they do the investigation".

Roy Hill leaving is only one of many people who have come and gone from this position. From 2012 to 2017 there have been Gary Griggs, Tony Daniels, Hans Van Winkle, Brent Felker, and Jim Van Epps.

Other changes include Kristina Assouri, the director of real property for the bullet train agency. She is also a WSP employee. Assouri has left the project but it is a "private matter" as to whether or not she still works for the WSP.

Along with these changes, there have been some staff meetings that have gotten pretty heated in Fresno, morale is low among employees, and it is hard to recruit new workers. Currently, 40 positions are available when there is a 220 staff authorization.

Brian Kelly still claims that he plans on going through the changes that will overhaul the project.


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