• Silver Line Dulles WMATA Metrorail progress/pictures

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

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  by Sand Box John
 
"JackRussell"
Looks like no update this month. I suppose with snow and Xmas that it was a short work month.


The month ain't over yet.

One little tidbit - Virginia Power has been out taking down overhead power lines along the south side of Rt 7, and there are stretches where they have removed the poles from the ground. They seem to saw off the top couple of feet leaving stubby poles (perhaps to make disassembly easier??), and then come by later and pull the rest.

Out on the west end of the construction zone, they have pulled down some wires, but many still remain - there are wires running across Rt 7 in several spots and they need to deal with those before the rest can come down.


Typical procedure when removing poles is to remove the high voltage stuff on top first, then come back and remove the phone an cable TV stuff later that's closer to the ground.
  by JackRussell
 
Sand Box John wrote:The month ain't over yet.
So true - it came out this morning. I will let you do the post with the particulars, but there isn't a whole lot of detail in there. Except for one cool picture of the tunnel itself :-D .
Image

So I emailed the woman who sends the stuff out, and asked her about the progress on the NATM tunnel. She responded and said they are about 200 ft into the westbound tunnel - she said "almost across International Drive". They started the eastbound tunnel 3 weeks ago and are about 40 feet into it. She also indicated that everything is still on-schedule.

From all of this, it sounds like they are digging at a rate of about 15 ft/wk.

Finally, she said that she hopes to have a video up on the website in a few weeks.

Edit: I think I am starting to see construction activity where Rt 7 and the toll road meet. I am starting to see barriers being placed in the median strip. We will know more in the weeks to come.
  by Sand Box John
 
Marcia McAllister is no stranger to handling, thing public relations, on metrorail. In the past she has worked with Cody Phanstiehl.

Here is the full text of the newsletter:

Image
The west cut-and-cover portion of the tunnel in Tysons (located at the Route 7/Route 123 interchange), as seen on the day of the big snow in December.
Photo by Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

Major Changes Coming to Route 123 and Route 7

Drivers in Tysons Corner should look for lane shifts and changing traffic patterns along the area's two busiest roads - Route 7 and Route 123 - as construction of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project continues.

What to Expect Along Route 123
From the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) South to the Capital Beltway (I-495)

Now through early February:


Lane closings weeknights on northbound and southbound lanes between the Dulles Connector Road and the Capital Beltway to install a new gas line,

Nighttime detours for traffic entering and exiting the Capital One complex, and the closing of one turn lane from Old Meadow Road onto Route 123 toward Tysons Corner Center.

As to the tunnel. Looks like they have not fully excavated the bench.

Early to mid-February:

Closings of two lanes of Scotts Crossing Road from the Gates of McLean to Route 123
and closing of the southbound right lane of Route 123 from Scotts Crossing Road to the Beltway. These closings will last approximately two years to support construction of the future Tysons East Metro station.

What to Expect Along Route 7
From Route 123 West to the Dulles Toll Road

Service roads on both sides of Route 7 will continue to close.
Additional mid-block left turns will be eliminated.
Traffic patterns on eastbound Route 7 between Route 123 and Gosnell Road will shift to make room for tunnel and station construction.
Retaining walls will continue to be built along the south side of the service roads along eastbound Route 7 as crews must build up sections of those service roads to the same elevations as Route 7. Watch for this work near Best Buy and Pike 7 Plaza.
Along Frontage Road (on the opposite side of Route 7 from Marshalls), occassional nighttime detours and traffic pattern changes will continue.

Station Construction Underway

Image
Construction of the future Tysons East Metrorail station on Route 123.
Photo by Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

Site preparation and foundation work will continue on the Tysons East station along the northwest side of Route 123 at Scotts Crossing Road.

Construction has started on the Wiehle Avenue station in the median of the Dulles International Airport Access Highway (DIAAH) between Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway. Motorists using the DIAAH should be alert for construction.

Image
Construction of the outbound tunnel underneath International
Drive in Tysons Corner. Photo by Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

###

Looks to me like they have deliberately not fully excavated the bench. I would hazard guess they are not going to install the finished tunnel lining until the bore is fully through.

What seem pretty cool about this tunneling method is, there appear to be no evidence of settling on the surface. The shield bores that were done in downtown DC back in the 1970s resulted in significant settling along the easement. The worst settling was along 7th Street between Archives and Galley Place. In some areas the street settled as much as a foot. Virtually all of the building fronts along that section of 7th Street had to be underpinned to prevent collapse.
  by jamesinclair
 
JackRussell wrote: From all of this, it sounds like they are digging at a rate of about 15 ft/wk.
I was in Hoover Dam yesterday, and during the tour, I was reminded of this post.

Apparently, to build the dam, in the 1930s, they needed to build 4 bypass tunnels for the river. Each tunnel was 59 feet wide (54 after concrete was poured), and was dug at a rate of 55 feet....PER SHIFT (8 hours). Work was done 24 hours a day.

70 years later.....what happened.
  by farecard
 
jamesinclair wrote: 70 years later.....what happened.
For one thing, the goal today is not to kill a few people a month; 112 people died building the dam.

Second: not all tunneling is the same. It's easier to get through deep bedrock than something shallow & less firm where you're shoring it up as you go.
  by Sand Box John
 
"jamesinclair"
I was in Hoover Dam yesterday, and during the tour, I was reminded of this post.

Apparently, to build the dam, in the 1930s, they needed to build 4 bypass tunnels for the river. Each tunnel was 59 feet wide (54 after concrete was poured), and was dug at a rate of 55 feet....PER SHIFT (8 hours). Work was done 24 hours a day.

70 years later.....what happened.


As farecard said above, you are comparing apple to oranges. Hard rock mining is different then tunneling through sedimentary soil.

The rate of progress on these tunnels being excavated using the NATM is greater then rate of progress on the shield bored tunnels that were dug in downtown DC in the 1970s. There are a hell of a lot less susceptible to producing surface settling as well.

The Rock tunnels under Connecticut and Wisconsin Avenues were dug using a TBM back in the 1970s at a rate nearly twice that of the Hoover Dam bypass tunnels. No one was killed.
  by strench707
 
Has any progress been made with this project that is noteworthy since the last posting? I'm a Marylander so I don't have the time to check it out so I like how you guys post updates.

Just checking in....


Davis
  by JackRussell
 
strench707 wrote:Has any progress been made with this project that is noteworthy since the last posting? I'm a Marylander so I don't have the time to check it out so I like how you guys post updates.
DTP hasn't posted an update for the month, so no news from there. My own thoughts are that all of that snow set them back about 2 weeks. Initially they couldn't even get their crews to work, but in many areas around here, VDOT plowed the by pushing the snow into the work areas. So when the crews got back in, their first tasks were to dig our their heavy equipment (which is of course well suited for digging and moving snow), and clear their work areas.

Fortunately we have had warm weather which is doing a nice job of melting the snow.

A couple of other observations:
  • I am not sure, but I think they may be close to done building piers where the Toll Rd extension hits I-66. And I am see more piers being built where the extension hits Rt 123. No bridge sections have been installed as of yet - so far just the piers.
  • At the Wiehle Ave station, I suspect they may be finishing some of the underground foundations - I am seeing rebar sticking up out of the ground vertically, but I don't expect them to build up from there until all of the foundations are complete.
  • They are working on the bridge where Metro will cross the WO&D. I suppose it is pretty tricky because there are high-voltage lines above the road there so they can't use really tall cranes to move things around. When the weather gets warmer and the snow is gone, I will take a bike ride with my camera. I recall reading a press release from last year that they would be completing that bridge this spring.
  • Still not much activity between Hunter Mill and Rt 7. Some Jersey barriers are up, but that's it.
  by Sand Box John
 
When I was out there the first weekend of January virtually all of the piers north of I-66 were done. The only 2 that were not in place were the 2 that will utilize the pier footings that VDOT put in for WMATA back in 1977. The piles for outbound track N2 abutment retaining walls were well under way. There was no evidence of piles for the inbound track N1 abutment retaining walls, the likely reason is the yard lead tunnel needs to built first.

The crane they were using to build the abutments and piers over the WO&D trail was on the trail itself, not up in median of the Access Road. The east abutment and pier footings were partly completed. Work had not started on the west abutment and pier footing.

Don't expect any of the span beams to be set until all of the pier and abutments are completed on a given section.
  by JackRussell
 
There was a traffic alert that had useful info:

http://www.dullesmetro.com/pdfs/10MAR05 ... sories.pdf
REMINDER: Three‐month Ramp Closure at Dolley Madison Boulevard and Dulles Connector 
Road to Begin Monday, Mar. 8 

Caissons and pier construction in the median of the Dulles Connector Road in Tysons Corner is 
approaching the area where the Dulles Connector Road meets Route 123. Work on five piers is 
scheduled  to  begin  overnight  Monday,  March  8.  The  on‐ramp  from  southbound  Dolley 
Madison Boulevard (Route 123) to the eastbound Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) will be 
closed for approximately three months. This is necessary for crews to build these piers safely, 
away from traffic.  
 
Nighttime Closure on Westbound I‐66 Next Friday, Mar. 12 
Crews will be  installing  a  caisson  near  the Orange  Line  during Metro’s  “non‐revenue  hours,” 
which are times during which service is limited or not running. To access this work zone safely, 
crews will close the left lane of westbound I‐66 for a 1,500‐foot stretch at the Dulles Connector 
Road  (Route 267)  split, overnight Friday, Mar. 12, between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m. Police will be 
onsite for motorist safety. 
Northbound 123 was closed at the Toll Road extension last night for reasons that they didn't explain. We saw it as we were headed out for dinner, but fortunately we weren't caught in it.
  by Sand Box John
 
"JackRussell"
"Nighttime Closure on Westbound I-66 Next Friday, Mar. 12

Crews will be installing a caisson near the Orange Line during Metro’s "non-revenue hours," which are times during which service is limited or not running. To access this work zone safely, crews will close the left lane of westbound I-66 for a 1,500-foot stretch at the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) split, overnight Friday, Mar. 12, between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m. Police will be onsite for motorist safety."


The contractor has moved an auger rig (large diameter drill) and a tracked crane into the median between the west bound lanes and the WMATA right of way.

Caught this image from the VDOT traffic cam on Friday morning when they were moving the auger rig.

Image
  by Sand Box John
 
From Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project progress update e-mail 03 09 2010.

No February progress update Newsletter

Image
The outbound tunnel that will carry rail between Route 123 and Route 7 in Tysons Corner is currently 420-feet long and passes completely under International Drive. Photo by Rich Silva, Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

A Year of Dulles Rail Construction Progress

Stations, Guideways, Tunnels Under Construction for Phase 1

It's been a year of progress for Dulles Rail. Since the Federal Transit Administration's approval of $900 million in "new starts" funds to complete the financial package for construction of Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project in March 2009, construction has started all along the 11-mile alignment from East Falls Church to Reston.

More than 95 percent of the construction of manholes and duct banks necessary for relocating the 21 utilities in the Route 7 alignment area have been completed. Some overhead power lines have been permanently removed and utility crews are now working in those manholes underground to connect the new lines.

In spite of the record winter storms:

· Construction of the Wiehle Avenue Station on the eastern edge of Reston is underway.
· Crews this month will begin work on the Tysons East Station, the first of four stations that will serve Tysons Corner.
· Many of the piers are now in place for the guideway that will carry the trains from the existing Orange Line to the middle of the Dulles Connector Road and from the Dulles Connector Road to to the northwest side of Route 123 near Capital One.
· Preparations for guideway work are starting at Route 7 and the Dulles Toll Road.
· And, the mining of the two tunnels that will carry trains from Route 7 to Route 123 are proceeding on schedule. The outbound tunnel now extends completely below International Drive and mining is about 150 feet into the inbound tunnel.

Fun Facts:

· More than 1,100 are now working on Dulles Rail.
· 214 caissons, underground supports for the aerial structures, have been built.
· More than 207 concrete sections of the aerial guideway that will support the rail track have been built at a staging area at Dulles Airport.
· Bridges are under construction to carry the rail tracks over Pimmit Run, the WO&D Trail in Reston, and Magarity Road.

Image
Pier guideway construction underway at the I-66 and Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) interchange. Photo by Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project
(I took some pictures from this location on my last visit to the area)


Big Changes Coming to Route 7

Heavy snow delayed plans for major changes to Route 7 in Tysons Corner until April. Here is what to expect:

· Elimination of all mid-block left turns.
· Shifting of traffic lanes on eastbound Route 7 between Route 123 and Gosnell Road to make room for construction of the Tysons Central 7 Station.
· Continuing construction of retaining walls along some sections of eastbound Route 7 where crews are elevating the existing service roads to the same grade as Route 7. This is taking place near Pike 7 Plaza and Best Buy.

Image
Construction of retaining walls on Route 7, necessary to build up the service roads to the same grade as Route 7 for lane shifting. Photo by Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

Old Chain Bridge Road Closing for 4 Weeks

Construction of the metrorail project will cause the closing of Old Chain Bridge Road between Great Falls Street and Anderson Road in the McLean area in April for approximately four weeks, pending development of detailed plans.

A large truss will be assembled at the Dulles Connector Road bridge over Old Chain Bridge Road. This is a very large, rigid structure that will be used to build the elevated track. It will start at the abutment and piers that are under construction where the Dulles Connector Road runs over Old Chain Bridge Road.

Residents who live along Old Chain Bridge Road will continue to have access to their houses but through traffic will be shut down. Detours will be set up to handle through traffic.

Old Chain Bridge Road is a popular shortcut for those seeking to bypass the busy Route 123/Great Falls Street/Lewinsville Road intersection traveling to and from McLean's business district and Great Falls Street, Westmoreland and Old Dominion Drive and eventually back to Route 123 near Salona Village.

Details will be announced as soon as they are available.

Image
Truss assembly taking place at Dulles Airport. Soon, trusses will be all along the corridor as the guideways go up to support construction. Photo by Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

Tysons East Station Construction Begins

Image
Pier construction at the Dulles Connector Road and Route 123 interchange leading up to the future Tysons East Station. Photo by Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

Construction of the Tysons East Metrorail Station, the first station to be built in Tysons Corner, has started, bringing with it traffic pattern changes and detours for residents, workers, shoppers and those who use Route 123 near the Dulles Connector Road bridge.

· The right lane of southbound Route 123 from Scotts Crossing Road to the entrance ramp to northbound I -495 is closed for two years, but the ramp remains open.
· The entrance ramp for southbound Route 123 from the McLean area to the eastbound Dulles Connector Road and I-66 is closed for three months for erection of piers that will support the guideway for the rail tracks from the Dulles Connector Road to the northwest side of Route 123 and the Tysons East Station.
· Scotts Crossing Road will be narrowed.
· Caisson testing, which sounds like a small explosion, continues.

Two-Month Detour Along Tysons Boulevard

The two left turn lanes from northbound Route 123 to westbound Tysons Boulevard will be closed for approximately two months starting in mid-March as work begins on the Tysons Central 123 Station.

Traffic will be detoured to International and Galleria Drives. Southbound Route 123 traffic will continue to make right turns to Tysons Boulevard.

Pedestrian Bridge Begins at Wiehle Station Site

Travelers on the Dulles international Airport Access Highway will continue to see narrowed lanes between Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway because of Wiehle Avenue Metrorail Station construction.

Some lanes will closed on the Dulles Toll Road where foundations will be built for piers that will support pedestrian bridges connecting the station to both sides of the Airport Highway/Toll Road.

###

March 2010 Newsletter (289 KB PDF file) Text and pictures same as above
  by realtype
 
Does anyone know whether the Silver Line will use concrete ties (sleepers) like the Northeast Corridor, and MTA Light Rail and Metro-Subway do in Maryland?
  by Sand Box John
 
"realtype"
Does anyone know whether the Silver Line will use concrete ties (sleepers) like the Northeast Corridor, and MTA Light Rail and Metro-Subway do in Maryland?


That is a good question. I have read nothing that would indicate either yes or no. I would hazard a guess the answer is no because of the higher up front cost. The budget for the project has had a lot of stuff squeezed from it to get funding grant approval from the FTA.

During the early phases of the system construction there was an option allowing the track work contractor to install concrete ties.
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