With the start of the New Year comes new construction in the south Valley for Construction Package 4. Though utility relocation and clearing and grubbing have been underway, the first construction activity began recently with geotechnical testing at Garces Highway in Kern County. At right, a blue drill rig is boring a shaft about 70 feet deep. Below that, crews can be seen constructing the rebar cage that will be lowered into the shaft and covered with concrete. Crews are testing the soil conditions for future construction of a crossing that will carry high-speed trains through the area.