Rail and highway transportation systems and tunnels are linear projects which can traverse many geologic conditions and local features such as rivers, marginal land, and bedrock faults. Transportation hubs such as airports, rail and ferry terminals often combine urban infrastructure into congested spaces.
MRCE supports transportation projects by providing engineers familiar with design fundamentals and structural systems gained from practicing under the leadership of seasoned professionals, and with responsible exposure to MRCE transportation projects. MRCE has accomplished designers with the ability to define subsurface conditions and convey their importance to a project, and to produce efficient structural solutions which reduce uncertainty in underground construction and waterfront transportation sites.
Virginia Avenue Tunnel
The CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel is a key freight train line between ports, manufacturing centers, and consumer markets. The original tunnel was a single track, low height, brick-and-stone-lined-tunnel constructed c 1872, is being replaced with two tracks that meet economic, increased traffic, and current double stack container height standards. CSX replaced it with two new tunnels that are now tall enough to let double-stack intermodal freight trains through. Construction was completed in 2018. MRCE served on the design-build team that evaluated alternatives to rehabilitate the existing tunnel, made recommendations for the selected alternative, and completed the construction of the new tunnel.
• During construction, the original tunnel continued to carry trains without service disruption.
• The double-stack intermodal freight trains that can now run through the tunnel can carry twice as much freight as a single-stack train.
WMATA NIH Medical Center Station
Maryland Route 355 (MD 355) is a heavily trafficked road in central Maryland that passes the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. At this location is an important Washington Metro Rail Station that had an at-grade pedestrian crossing that was dangerous to navigate. To mitigate the at-grade crossing issues, the project included a pedestrian underpass below MD 355, new deep high-speed elevators and emergency stairs, and a new deep tunnel connection between the new elevator and the existing Metrorail tunnel. The project improved access to the Metro Station and eased the mobility and safety of pedestrians and bicyclists crossing MD 355. MRCE was the foundation engineering design consultant to the Design/Build team providing design of the monitoring program, support of excavation in rock, the shaft liner and passageway liner, the drainage system, and the framing for the opening in the existing tunnel liner. MRCE also reviewed the existing tunnel for impact of construction including PLAXIS numerical modeling, provided construction inspection and construction support services.
• The NIH Medical Center station is on the Red Line, part of Washington Metro’s original 103 mile subway system. From 1966 on, MRCE was the General Soil Consultant for WMATA for the original system, providing complete geotechnical investigations, evaluation of construction conditions, and establishing design criteria for the entire line.
• MRCE regularly works on WMATA projects, mainly providing evaluation of new construction located over and adjacent to the shallow and deep tunnels of the Metro lines.
Fulton Street Transit Center
The Fulton Center, located at the intersection of Fulton Street and Broadway in Lower Manhattan, is a state-of-the-art transit hub that connects six individual subway stations serving 11 subway lines, and links the existing Fulton Street station to the World Trade Center.
MRCE developed the concept for excavation support and designed anchored secant pile walls for construction of the underground pedestrian tunnel and concourse, and steel pile underpinning to support the existing subway structures. MRCE designed the underpinning systems which allowed construction of a new pedestrian concourse below the existing subway and the historic 19th century Corbin Building. The Fulton Street Transit Center was named “Top Project of the Year for 2015” by ENR magazine.
Second Avenue Subway
The Second Avenue Subway is New York City’s first major expansion of the subway system in over 50 years. When fully completed, the line will stretch 8.5 miles along the length of Manhattan's East Side, from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in lower Manhattan. It is planned to be constructed in four phases, with the first phase below Second Avenue from 63rd to 96th streets expected to begin service in December of 2016.
MRCE performed geotechnical investigations of subsurface conditions, determined building foundation underpinning requirements, and designed deep support systems for excavations. MRCE designed multi-level bracing systems and temporary street decking and utility suspension for the 96th street "cut and cover" station, which stretches from 92nd Street to 99th Street, and above the rock cavern station at 86th Street.
Grand Island Bridges Seismic Evaluation
The Grand Island Bridges are two pairs of twin two-lane truss arch bridges in New York, United States. The South Grand Island Bridge twins cross the Niagara River between Tonawanda and Grand Island, and the North Grand Island Bridge twins cross the Niagara River between Grand Island and Niagara Falls. MRCE performed a site‐specific seismic study to evaluate the seismic hazard at all four Grand Island Bridges. The seismic hazard evaluation incorporated updates in current knowledge of the seismicity and seismic sources of the area, recently developed ground motion attenuation equations and ground motion models, and effects of the locally varying site conditions. The site-specific seismic study included a Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA), acceleration time history generation, seismic Crosshole testing, site response analysis, and liquefaction potential analysis.
Newark Airport (EWR) Terminal One
The PANYNJ’s new Terminal One at Newark Liberty International Airport is a 1 million-square-foot, 33-gate domestic terminal with an open and modern layout. Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers PLLC (MRCE) was the lead geotechnical and foundation engineer to the Tutor Perini-Parsons JV Design-Build construction team. MRCE engineered the pile design and provided special inspection services for all foundation elements. Terminal One is a three-level structure in an impressive and efficient inverted “T” shape. The lowest level supports baggage handling and other services to the passenger terminal above. The project includes a new bridge for passenger arrivals and a covered pedestrian bridge connecting to a new parking structure. Located on Airport property near existing Terminal C, the new Terminal One will replace existing Terminal A, the Airport’s oldest terminal. The Terminal One project is the largest design-build project in NJ to date.
The Newark airport site was developed from a salt marsh and garbage dump using hydraulic fill placement. In 1948, after the PANYNJ assumed operation of the airport, MRCE was a consultant to the Port Authority for soil stabilization in anticipation of future expansion. MRCE performed a geotechnical study of the hydraulic fill, and provided recommendations for ground improvement below additional runways, taxi-strips and terminal areas using sand drains and surcharge fill.