Bechtel Team Completes Dulles Rail Aerial Guideway
17 July 2012
Iconic Blue and Yellow Crane to be Demobilized
The Bechtel-led team building Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project has completed construction of the aerial guideway that will carry Metrorail trains and passengers over major highways and through Tysons Corner, one of Virginia’s busiest retail and business districts.
“The aerial guideway has been one of the most challenging aspects of the project as we had to carry out this work safely above busy highways and in a congested area,” said Larry Melton, Bechtel’s executive director on the project. “Innovative construction techniques, the work of a dedicated and experienced crew, and patience from the public were critical to the successful completion of the guideway.”
The aerial guideway makes up three miles (4.8 kilometers) of the 11.7-mile (18.8-km) alignment in Phase 1. It was constructed by connecting more than 2,700 reinforced precast concrete segments, each weighing between 25 to 40 tons. The segments were uniquely engineered for their specific location on the guideway to ensure a custom fit. The segments were installed by the distinctive bright blue and yellow trusses (horizontal cranes) that have become a signature of the project. The giant 365-ton, 360-foot- (109.7 meter-) long trusses were used because of their ‘top-down’ construction method, which has little impact on the traveling public and is ideal in an urban area like Tysons Corner. The last of the three trusses will be demobilized over a period of five to eight weeks.
Completion of the guideway marks a significant milestone in the project. Work will now focus on the completion of the stations and their associated pedestrian bridges and pavilions, as well as on the process of connecting the Dulles extension to the existing Metrorail system. Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project began in 2009 and is managed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The project is currently on schedule for completion in late 2013.
A global leader in the rail industry, Bechtel has successfully completed some of the largest and most complex rail projects in the world, including the San Francisco BART system; Athens Metro; Jubilee Line Extension on the London Underground; West Coast Main Line Route Modernization; and High Speed 1. In addition to the Dulles rail project, the company is also working on Crossrail, a new rail route through the heart of central London.