The CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel is a critical route for freight trains traveling through Washington, DC. The project includes replacing the tunnel – first built in 1872 – with two new tunnels that could each accommodate double-stack intermodal trains.
The scope of work occurred in two phases with no interruption to train operations. During the first phase, the project team demolished approximately 300 feet of the tunnel’s south wall and roof to accommodate the new south track. The team then constructed a secant pile wall system adjacent to the tunnel’s remaining section of the south wall. This wall acts as a part of the support of excavation system for the first phase of construction and is the dividing wall between the two new tunnels for more than half the tunnel’s length. The team also installed a drilled soldier pile and lagging support of excavation system offset south to the existing tunnel to allow excavation adjacent to the existing tunnel.
After demolition, the secant pile wall system, and support of excavation were complete, the team constructed a 4,100-foot cut and cover south tunnel, in a trench up to 50 feet deep, adjacent to the existing active tunnel. The team also constructed six temporary bridges over the tunnel excavation to ensure that north-south vehicular and pedestrian traffic was not affected.
During the second phase, the team demolished the remaining sections of the existing tunnel’s roof and south wall and constructed a new 4,100-foot cut and cover north tunnel. At the end of this phase, the team backfilled the trench, removed temporary bridges, and fully restored traffic to Virginia Avenue on a modified alignment that returned it closer to the historic L’Enfant Plan.
Additionally, the team permanently relocated numerous water, sewer, electric, communications, and gas utilities. A new concrete arch bridge was also constructed over an existing masonry sewer tunnel to protect it under the new rail road tunnel.
Clark and joint venture partner Parsons provided more than three years of support services under a Professional Services Agreement with CSX during NEPA environmental impact studies. During that period, the project team provided technical and preliminary design services to support CSX’s efforts to secure critical environmental approvals.
2019 ABC of Metro Washington Excellence in Construction Award (Heavy/Industrial/Transportation)
2019 DBIA Mid-Atlantic Design-Build Award (Outstanding Owner)
2019 DBIA Mid-Atlantic Design-Build Award (Merit, Transportation)
2019 ENR Mid-Atlantic Best Project Award (Airport/Transit)
2019 ENR Mid-Atlantic Best Project Award (Transportation)
2019 AGC of DC Washington Contractor Award (Highway/Transit/Bridge)
2019 ACEC Virginia Award of Excellence (Grand, Design)
2019 American Society of Civil Engineers Project of the Year Award (Design)
2019 ASEC Award of Excellence (Design)