The infrastructure throughout the United States is due for
an upgrade. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives
the nation’s infrastructure a grade of “D.” Over the next
30 years, it’s predicted that a tremendous amount of work
needs to begin throughout the country.
The District of Columbia, however, has already begun to
rehabilitate its subway system, including more than 90
stations overall on five different lines. The Red Line is the
most heavily used of the five lines, and it includes the
oldest stations — the section from Rhode Island Avenue to
Farragut North inaugurated Washington’s subway system in
1976.
The line’s age can be obvious to riders. Many elevators
and escalators don’t work; ceilings and platforms are
deteriorating; the lighting is poor; and the announcements
are often unclear. Plus, it’s really hot — even underground
— in the summer.
Planners in the D.C. area have been working for several
years on a rehabilitation program that eventually will reach
all the lines, but the Red Line effort is the first, and Mass.
Electric Construction Company, a Kiewit subsidiary, has a
contract for the first batch of stations.
The Red Line Rehab project includes the rehabilitation of
station platforms, lighting, HVAC equipment, automatic train
control, traction power, emergency trip stations, PA systems,
closed-circuit TV systems, kiosks, ceiling tiles and skylights.
“We have a very broad range of scopes,” said Matt
Swanson, one of the project managers. “It’s primarily an
electrical job, but there is some civil work with platforms
and building work. Coordinating all of these items has been
the biggest challenge, but so far, so good.”
The relationship between MEC and the client has been
“outstanding” and has led to successes throughout the
project. In fact, both entities are co-located in the same
headquarters building.
“When folks wander the hallways, you’re hard-pressed to
tell who’s WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit
Authority) and who is from the contractor,” said Ron Smith,
the other project manager. “Our great relationship has
been a huge key to success. Anytime you’re working on an
operating line, it’s a major challenge. Simply getting access
to the work requires a shutdown, so the communication
between us has to be outstanding. And it has been.”
SETTING THE STANDARD
Part of MEC’s scope includes upgrading all the stations to
include new Internet Protocol high-definition cameras for its
closed-circuit television security and surveillance system.
After MEC completed the first 10 stations, including the
Judiciary Square station, and WMATA was getting ready to
divide the remaining stations among its other contractors, it
held a kick-off meeting.
During the meeting’s introduction, MEC and its
CAPITAL
IMPROVEMENTS
Rail rehab in Washington D.C.
Red Line updates
WMATA’s Red Line is the first phase of its system-wide rehabilitation.
GLENMONT
WHEATON
FOREST GLEN
SILVER SPRING
TAKOMA
FORT TOTTEN
BROOKLAND-CUA
UNION STATION
JUDICIARY SQ
RHODE ISLAND AVE
Brentwood
NOMA-GALLAUDET U
New York Ave
RED LINE
BLUE LINE
YELLOW
LINE
GREEN LINE
ORANGE LINE
RED LINE REHAB - MEC
RED LINE NOT BEING
REHABILITATED
KIEWAYS
2013 / Quarter 2
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