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Dulles Metrorail Silver Line

Tysons Corner, VA

General Contractor:  Dulles Transit Partners, LLC
Architect:  Dulles Transit Partners, LLC
Engineer:  Dulles Transit Partners, LLC
Contract Amount:  $12,500,000.00
Start Date:  March 2011
Completion Date:  December 2013

Challenges

The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Phase 1 is an 11.6 mile extension of the existing Metrorail system operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). This extension will be named the Silver Line and run from East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue in Reston.

The purpose of the Silver Line is to provide high quality, high capacity transit service in the Dulles Corridor. There are five new stations, two ventilation structures, seven pavilions and nine bridges, plus over three miles of aerial structures with track and a tunnel between two of the stations.

For Shapiro & Duncan, logistics and multiple change orders in design and construction were the biggest challenges on this bid/build project.  The multiple stations and pavilions – 12 different jobs – are spread out over 11 miles with little or no space for staging or storing material and equipment.  Our field office, situated in the median strip of Route 7, was moved multiple times during the course of this project. For a project of this size and scope, changes are to be expected and must be handled as quickly and cost efficiently as possible.

Solution

The mechanical systems installed by Shapiro & Duncan for this projected consisted of:

  • More than 50 sump pumps for the escalators and elevators;
  • More than 400 exhaust and supply fans for ventilation of restrooms and other areas;
  • More than 170 electric unit heaters;
  • Several roof top and split HVAC units for climate control of the train control rooms; and
  • Many plumbing fixtures for the multitude of restrooms along the route.

Ensuring just-in-time delivery of material and equipment required considerable advance planning and close coordination with Shapiro & Duncan’s 51,000-square-foot fabrication shop in Landover, Maryland. Because of space constraints – only a minimal stock of piping could be kept on hand – material and equipment had to be delivered to the site for installation within a day or two of delivery. All equipment and piping was sent to the fabrication shop by our main office, with specifications for which components would be delivered at what intervals. 

Result

Outstanding teamwork between Shapiro & Duncan’s main office and our project field personnel, led by foreman Red Grigsby, ensured successful completion of this project despite the seemingly never-ending changes. In terms of delivery and materials handling, our subcontractors also played a big part in this success story.  Subcontractors included Stromberg Metal Works for sheet metal, Fairfax Insulation for duct and pipe insulation, Primary Electric for control wiring, Bay Associates for the heat trace on some of the piping, Delta Industrial Services for duct cleaning, Test & Balancing for air balancing and vibration testing and ARC Water Treatment for water sterilization.

Quality control was another huge factor contributing to the success of this project. High quality was essential to pass scrutiny of the multiple agencies involved in inspections, including the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, WMATA, Virginia Department of General Services, county fire marshals and several local water authorities. Henry Thompson, Shapiro & Duncan’s quality control supervisor on the project, made sure all inspections were passed with flying colors.

In recognition of their efforts, both Grigsby and Thompson received “One Team, One Vision” awards from the company.