The $1.2-billion Houston METRO Light Rail Expansion Design-Build Project included design, construction, testing and commissioning of three new rail lines totaling 15 miles. Construction teams, led by the Houston Rapid Transit Joint Venture (HRT), clocked 7 million man-hours.

The team designed and built 23 new stations, new storage and inspection facilities and an operations control center (OCC), and made major renovations to the existing OCC to be used as a backup. The project also involved system safety and operational upgrades to the existing 7.5-mile LRT system.

Challenges included an aggressive schedule hampered by funding setbacks and city limitations on work areas, plus traffic flow constraints.

HRT developed work plans and executed construction within 40 hours at one of many major intersections, after which the city allowed weekend intersection shutdowns.

The project employed night crews, but their work was limited by noise ordinances, so HRT devised demolition methods and noise barriers to reduce construction noise.

Houston Metro Light Rail Expansion


Key Players
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO)
Lead Design Firm  Parsons
General Contractor Houston Rapid Transit Joint Venture, Led by Parsons Transportation Group With Granite Construction Co.; Kiewit Texas Construction LP; Stacy and Witbeck Inc.
Civil Engineer-North Line Dannenbaum Engineering Corp.
Civil Engineer-East Line Omega Engineers Inc.
Civil Engineer-Southeast Line Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc.
Civil Engineer-Downtown Line Huitt-Zollars