Clark/Parsons to Rebuild Train Tunnel Beneath D.C.
September 17, 2015
Clark and joint venture partner Parsons Transportation have been awarded a design-build contract by CSX Transportation for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction Project in Southeast Washington, D.C.
Originally constructed more than 110 years ago, the Virginia Avenue Tunnel is a critical pathway for freight and commuter trains traveling through Washington, D.C., and along the I-95 rail corridor. Clark/Parsons will design and construct a new tunnel system underneath Virginia Avenue, between 2nd Street and 12th Street, SE. The team will fully reconstruct the tunnel, install a second track, and increase the clearance of the tunnel to make room for double-stack intermodal container trains. Clark/Parsons will complete all work with no interruption to train operations.
The team will approach the project in two phases. First, they will demolish portions of the tunnel's south wall and roof to accommodate the new south tunnel. The team will then construct a secant pile wall system adjacent to the remaining section of the south wall to act as a support of excavation system, as well as the dividing wall between the tracks for a portion of the tunnel. During this first phase, the team also will construct the 4,100-foot cut-and-cover south tunnel, in a trench up to 50 feet deep, adjacent to the existing active tunnel. At the end of phase one, train traffic will be diverted to this new south tunnel. The team also will permanently relocate numerous utilities, including water, sewer, gas, electric, and communications.
During the second phase, Clark/Parsons will demolish the remaining sections of the existing tunnel’s roof and south wall and construct the new 4,100 foot cut and cover north tunnel. The team also will fully restore traffic to Virginia Avenue on a modified alignment that returns it closer to the historic L’Enfant Plan.
During construction, the team will erect six temporary bridges to maintain vehicular and pedestrian traffic across the site.
Clark Foundations, Clark Concrete, C3M Power Systems, and Metro Earthworks are part of the project team.
Construction began earlier this year and substantial completion is scheduled for 2018.