|Reducing Utility Risks
A partnership led by the Virginia Dept. of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) is planning a 23-mile extension of its Metrorail, from the Orange Line, near Falls Church, to Route 772 in Loudoun County, beyond Dulles Airport. The $4-billion dollar public private partnership. Known as Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, is one of the most complex projects ever undertaken in the Northern Virginia area. The planned alignment will encounter nearly every utility that supports one of the largest commercial areas in the United States.
To reduce the risk of conflicts with these utilities, prime contractor Dulles Transit Partners, LLC (DTP) turned to TBE Group to provide Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) and utility coordination services on the first phase of the project, which extends to Tyson's Corner and Reston.
"This congested transit project corridor is already a developed urban area that presents a considerable utility coordination challenges," said Nicholas Zembillas, senior vice president. "There are multiple utilities that need to be verified and coordinated for relocation, new installation or removal. Incorporating utility coordination and SUE on this design-build project has successfully minimized unnecessary utility relocation and reduced the risk of costly utility conflicts."
TBE found that in many instances the composite plans showed utilities more than 10ft away from their actual horizontal location. In several instances, utility owners had existing facilities that did not even appear on their record drawings and, thus, were not on the composite plans. Had the design proceeded based only on the as-built information, significant impacts with existing utilities would have occurred, causing costly design and construction delays.
DTP has now completed phase 1 of the preliminary engineering. Final design is expected to begin in the fall of 2006, with construction scheduled for 2007.
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