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“Metro seeking proposals to fast-track Yellow Line Bridge and tunnel rehabilitation project” and now I’ll be terrified until it happens

Photo by DCbmyers


“Metro is preparing for a major capital project that will rehabilitate the Yellow Line Bridge spanning the Potomac River and repair the steel lined tunnel between Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza stations, both of which date to original construction more than 40 years ago. In an effort to address this critical need, Metro is streamlining the design and construction to save time and money.

In a request for proposals issued this month, Metro is seeking a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) that will coordinate with Metro during the design process and provide a guaranteed price for construction. This enables the contractor to evaluate construction feasibility, provide value engineering and propose cost-effective alternatives in the design phase, providing more flexibility and cost-controls.

This is Metro’s first project using CMAR, a method widely used for large-scale infrastructure projects. The design, pre-construction work and pricing happen concurrently to improve project delivery and schedule. Waiting for the design process to be completed before awarding the construction contract would add up to a year to the project timeline.

“Metro is investing in an aggressive capital campaign to rehabilitate and repair elevated structures, and the Yellow Line Bridge is the top structural priority providing the region with a vital transportation link across the Potomac,” said Metro’s Executive Vice President of Capital Program Delivery, Laura K. Mason. “Advancing this project quickly is good for our customers, and will allow Metro to utilize this process on future projects to more quickly address critical safety needs of other elevated structures.”

Metro has 148 elevated structures throughout the system, including elevated rail stations and tracks, and has identified 31 in need of rehabilitation or repair.

The Yellow Line bridge and tunnel project is critical to maintain safe, reliable service for customers. The bridge, constructed in the 1970s and supported by box-girder spans and piers, is now showing excessive wear and corrosion. Meanwhile, decades of water infiltration and underground moisture have eroded the steel-lined tunnel, subjecting the liner plates to stray current. Metro continues to perform ongoing maintenance and leak mitigation; however, long-term repairs are necessary now to avoid structural failure in the future.

The work also includes upgrading the fire suppression system on the 3000-foot bridge, which is beyond its useful life, and remediation work in tunnels throughout the system to repair cracks and additional water infiltration.

Metro expects construction to begin in fall 2022 with completion by the end of the year. Additional details on the project timeline and impacts to service will be provided at a later date.”

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