CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel Is Not Your Typical Construction Site
Every contractor has a list, at least in the back of his or her mind, of issues that can make a construction project complex or difficult.
The CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Washington, D.C., wins the prize hands down for involving just about every issue on the list and then some, says Pedro Hernandez, director of project management, estimation and field operations for R.B. Hinkle Construction, the dry utility subcontractor for the project.
Phase I of the project involves building a new, single-track railroad tunnel, tall enough to accommodate double-stacked freight cars, right next to the existing, 110-year-old, single-track tunnel, while the existing tunnel is operational.
Issues that complicate the project include:
- A crowded urban setting with traffic and parking impact
- Proximity to a U.S. Marine barracks, an assisted-living facility for senior citizens, private residences and commercial buildings, raising concerns about construction dust, noise and vibration
- The presence of a creek encased in concrete running under the tracks that must be protected on the project site
All of the above has made the nearly $200 million project extremely challenging, to say the least.The existing tunnel is nearing the end of its useful life, and the new one is critical to eliminating a significant bottleneck in the East Coast’s rail transportation network, according to CSX Transportation.
R.B. Hinkle Construction, a PLH Group Company, has a $1.5 million contract with Clark/Parsons, a joint venture between Clark Construction, one of the area’s premier general contractors, and Parsons Transportation Group for installing the underground duct bank and manholes for electrical utility infrastructure that have to be relocated to clear the path to build the new tunnel. The work, which began in early May and is scheduled to wrap up around year end, involves extra safety regulations to follow beyond the standards mandated by OSHA, Hernandez said.
“This is definitely a complex project for many reasons, but we’re proud to be involved in it, and we like to look at the complexities as challenges,” he said.
“After all, if it was an easy project, anyone could do it. One of the big reasons R.B. Hinkle was chosen for the contract was because of our operators’ skill sets with confined-space, urban excavations.”
Article posted at: ABC Metro Washington News
To learn more about the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel project, visit: www.virginiaavenuetunnel.com