- Capital Rail Constructors (CRC), the general contractor building Phase 2 of the Washington, D.C.-area Metrorail’s $5.8 billion Silver Line, has informed the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority that concrete pedestals supporting one station are cracking, The Washington Post reported.
- In a progress report to the authority, CRC said that the pedestals, which sit on top of 20-foot columns and are intended to support two-story glass walls and windscreens at the Dulles International Airport station, were never properly reinforced during construction.
- The Clark Construction Group-Kiewit Infrastructure joint venture is currently 13 months behind schedule on the project, which was also set back by defective concrete panels and rail ties.
The cracks were first discovered in April 2018, but it wasn’t until November that CRC determined during repairs that missteps in design and field installation had made it a “serious” issue. The contractor will absorb the costs to fix the pedestals.
CRC said its quality control program is working since this mistake and others were found during construction and not after completion. The GC forecasted a February finish date but will begin accruing late penalties in October if construction is not wrapped up by August.
This concrete snafu is the third major concrete-related issue facing the Silver Line.
Last year project officials found 1,750 defective concrete panels used in the line’s station construction. Further investigation revealed that a quality control manager at Universal Concrete Products, the panel manufacturer and installation subcontractor, had falsified test records to make it appear as if the air content in the panels met project specifications. While the flaws in the panels don’t pose a safety issue, the concrete will need extra maintenance to prevent future cracking and water seepage.
Universal ended up paying $1 million to settle federal charges in the matter, and federal and state authorities were able to secure a $700,000-plus judgment against Andrew Nolan, the former Universal quality control manager, who pleaded guilty to falsifying the panel test results.
Then, in September, CRC discovered that about 400 concrete rail ties were one-half-inch higher in the center than on the sides, which could cause the tracks to tilt outwards. CRC, according to The Post, is still working on a fix. Manufacturer Rocla Concrete Tie said the ties meet project specifications.
Bechtel Infrastructure built Phase 1 of the Silver Line, also known as the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, which opened in July 2014. When the second phase is complete, the new line will cover 23 miles. The project will also see the construction by Hensel Phelps of a new rail yard, which will include new facilities for service, maintenance, inspection, police and more.