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Nobody likes sitting in traffic, but it’s one of those life certainties that we all begrudgingly accept. We depend on our GPS devices, we try to leave earlier or later to beat rush hour, and we make sure we have our favorite music, audiobooks or podcasts on hand before we set out. Houston Metro’s 7.5 billion long-range plan approved by voters last year is aimed at making transit faster and more accessible.
HVJ became involved when Metro and the Uptown Houston Management District teamed up on a $192.5 million signature project, the newly launched METRORapid Silver Line. This line provides rapid bus transit routes that directly connect two major transit centers and 17 Metro bus routes. The dedicated bus lane accommodates the operations of fourteen 60-foot buses with elevated bus platforms sitting at the same level as the bus floors, providing riders with efficient, easy ADA compliant entry and exit. (chron.com)
HVJ was tasked with developing a solution to constructing these platforms quickly without disturbing Uptown’s heavy traffic flow. The problem was in the original platform foundation concept which required drilled shafts due to the potential for shrink-swell movement. However, the dedicated bus lane pavement would also be subject to this movement which meant that a drilled shaft platform foundation could increase the risk of differential movement between the platform and bus floor. Additionally, due to an extensive network of existing utilities in the area, additional extended lane closures outside the planned construction zone would be needed creating substantial traffic delays during construction.
Read about how we proposed a mat foundation to reduce these risks and create a solution that allowed the platform level to remain relative to the bus floors. Ultimately, we created a solution that reduced construction cost, decreased construction time, and eliminated foundation construction-related lane closures.
Read more about the project here: The Boulevard Project