Rapid Growth Demands Rail Infrastructure Upgrade Avoiding Service Interruption

Project Background

DART Red and Blue Line Platform Extensions Project

Rapid growth in North Texas necessitated the extension of 28 platforms along DART’s Blue and Red lines to accommodate three-car trains instead of the existing capacity of two-car trains.

With trains running almost every 20 minutes, safety and high efficiency in construction were needed without compromising quality. This is where HVJ stepped in to provide geotechnical engineering services for 15 platforms and construction materials testing services for 8 platforms, while performing up to these high standards.

Practice: Geotechnical Engineering and Construction Materials Engineering and Testing

Sector: Rail/Transit

Location: North Texas

Services: Foundation Design, Shrink-Swell Soils, Fill Suitability/Compaction Control, Portland Cement Concrete Testing, Foundation Observation

DART Platform Extn Construction

The Problem

The platform extension was to occur next to the frequently travelled tracks of the Blue and Red lines. Safety, extreme time management and careful planning were required as the busy and necessary lines could not be interrupted for this project.

The Goal

Work with Jacobs Engineering Group, IEA and Phillips May Corporation to safely and efficiently extend the platforms while maintaining the rigorous quality standards of both HVJ Associates and DART.

The Solution

HVJ maximized on the use of in-house and existing geotechnical information along with its local experience to minimize the need for additional borings. Supplemental geotechnical borings were performed as necessary without impacting train travel. Working closely with the design team, HVJ provided recommendations that have minimal construction impact on existing train travel. Helical piers were proposed as an innovative foundation system instead of typical drilled shafts.

To ensure the safety of everyone on the project,  HVJ engaged in a rigorous background check and drug screening program for performing the field work as well as light rail worker protection safety training. HVJ also followed DART’s Quality Requirements in addition to AASHTO and our internal Quality System Requirements to assure construction quality.

To handle the fluctuating operation times HVJ provided a full-time Senior Field Inspector with more than 15 years of experience including Rail projects, supported by multiple experienced and certified technicians to handle peak workload including night shifts.

“Working with HVJ-Dallas has been a good experience. Very professional about how they handle our project. I would work with them again.”

Kennedy Bruce
Quality Control, Phillips May Corporation

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