As the Federal Railroad Administration pursues regulations regarding inspection of concrete railroad ties, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority last month launched a $91-million project to replace 147,000 concrete ties that began failing in just 10 years. Photo: Courtesy VHB Thousands of precast concrete ties began to fail in just 10 years. In 1997, the MBTA chose concrete over timber ties because Rocla Concrete Tie Inc., a Denver-based precast-concrete manufacturer, claimed they had a 50-year life span compared to 30 years for timber ties. But in 2007, several thousand ties began cracking and crumbling, disrupting train service on the 61-mile Old
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.