Mid-Coast Extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley San Diego

San Diego, Calif.


Submitted By: MCTC - Stacy and Witbeck, Herzog, Skanska Joint Venture

Owner: San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)

Lead Design Firm: WSP

GC/CM/Engineer: MCTC - Stacy and Witbeck, Herzog, Skanska Joint Venture

Civil Engineer: Kimley-Horn and Assoc.

Subcontractors: TY Lin (in partnership with HDR), PGH Wong & Jacobs Engineering, ZGF Architects

This complex $1.49 billion job involved extending San Diego’s light rail system by 11 miles and included two commuter/freight railroad doubletracking projects, a new bikeway and building an arched roadway bridge over Interstate 5.

At the peak of construction, daily costs exceeded $1 million. Managing this volume of work required extensive collaboration. To help achieve this goal, the team created “RUPID” tasks. RUPID stands for Right-of-Way, Utilities, Permits, Interagency Agreements, and Design – activities that frequently delay infrastructure projects. All parties allocated appropriate resources, established task groups, aggressively mitigated risks associated with each activity, and monitored progress throughout the project.

Coordination between agencies was critical as seven miles of the project was constructed within the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) commuter/freight rail corridor – the second-busiest commuter rail corridor in the country, running Coaster, Amtrak, and BNSF trains. The northern, four-mile portion of the project is completely elevated, crosses the Interstate 5 freeway twice, and runs through the University of California San Diego to the San Diego region’s second largest employment center.

Scope included trackwork, nine complex stations (four at-grade and five aerial), precast and cast-in-place bridges, utilities, roadwork,traction power, an overhead catenary system, signaling, railroad coordination, retaining walls, testing, and start-up.