(AP) -- Rail Authority CEO Jeff Morales announced the applications Wednesday from five U.S.-based consortiums. If their qualifications are approved, the firms could bid to perform engineering and construction work on the leg between Fresno and Bakersfield.
The contract is expected to be worth $1.5 billion to $2 billion, depending on the bids.
The bullet train project has hit a series of legal and regulatory setbacks in recent weeks, but officials say they hope to break ground in early 2014.
Among the potential bidders released Wednesday is Tutor Perini-Zachry-Parsons, which won the nearly $1 billion design-build contract for the first 28-mile leg of the project.