WMATA Station Platform Rehabilitation Contract 4

Washington, D.C.


Submitted By: Kiewit Infrastructure Co.

Owner: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)

Lead Designer /Structural Engineer: Kiewit Engineering Group Inc.

General Contractor: Kiewit Infrastructure Co.

MEP Engineer: CSIE

Geotechnical Engineer: KIM Engineering

Subcontractors: Mass. Electric Construction Co.; Ribeiro Construction; Regional Contracting Services LLC; R. Bratti Assoc.; Firvida Construction Corp.

Experience paid off for the $285-million project to repair and replace critical platform components at five outdoor Metrorail stations. The construction team had been involved in the program’s three previous contracts. The new effort would require the expertise and close coordination of multiple trade specialties, from site/civil and bridges to building systems and communications. To make the most of each day of the planned 96-day revenue-service shutdown, the owner and project team carefully planned the process for carrying out activities along the 11-mile route. Logistical challenges for supporting improvement activities at six aerial structures, which were also undergoing construction under a separate program, required the team to make each work area self-sufficient and contained. To ensure the bridges would be finished and reopened on schedule, the team developed more than one plan for finishing work at each location. That provided flexibility for material delivery and storage as well as the sequencing of work activities.

Seeing an opportunity to complete additional scope during the revenue-shutdown period, WMATA added 22 change orders totaling $23 million, but with very little schedule extension. One additional assignment required full replacement of decks and nearly 130 additional bearings at an aerial structure, a process that went from design and permitting to material procurement and complete installation in just six months. The team was also called on to complete an unforeseen scope gap in another contractor’s work—installing a fiber optic connection between a new ductbank and a station platform. The 17-month project finished at budget and on schedule.

WMATA Station Platform Rehabilitation

Photo by Clarence Butts, courtesy Kiewit

Familiarity with WMATA’s processes, contract specifications and facilities ensured that all work was completed in the proper sequence, avoiding missteps and errors that might have compromised quality and craftmanship. It also enabled the team to develop a comprehensive safety program that included training materials with procedures for working in site-specific conditions, daily job safety assessments for each day’s tasks and awareness of potential mental health issues. Using the catchphrase “Big Hairy Audacious Goal,” the team committed itself to having zero injuries during the project—a goal that was achieved across 875,000 work hours.  

Another project achievement—allotting 22% of work to disadvantaged business enterprises—exceeded the three prior WMATA program contracts.

Along with restoring key elements of transit system infrastructure for additional decades of safe and reliable service, the team implemented improvements such as overhead displays that provide train arrival information and safety messaging, new PA speaker systems, non-slip tile, renovated bathrooms, charging stations for electronics and explosion-proof trash cans to limit the impact of a potential terrorist attack.

WMATA Station Platform Rehabilitation

Photo courtesy Kiewit