Thursday, August 06, 2009

New Muni LRV shop earns recognition

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The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Muni Metro East Light Rail Maintenance and Operations Facility has been named the American Public Works Association (APWA) Public Works Project of the Year for 2009 in the Transportation Category (more than $75 million). Gannett Fleming served as the lead consulting engineer in a Joint Venture with locally based AGS, Inc. for the planning, design, and construction support of the new $120 million facility.

gannett-fleming_muni-metro-east.jpgGannett Fleming's northern California regional office, now based in Mill Valley, Calif., led this project. The firm provided project management; industrial engineering planning; equipment requirements and specifications; mechanical engineering; and railroad systems engineering services, including catenary, signals, traction power, and communications systems, from initial project planning through completion of construction. The fully electrified yard contains 15 storage tracks for 80 light rail vehicles, with future expansion capability for storing 100 LRVs, as well as an automatic train control test track.

The 181,000-square-foot LRV maintenance facility and storage yard was built on a 13-acre parcel of land. “Interestingly, a facility such as this would typically require a minimum land area of 20 acres,” said Gannett Fleming. “However, due to high cost and limited availability within this area of San Francisco, the project team developed solutions to work within the site. This facility is most likely the most compact, new LRV site to be built in the U.S. within the past 30 years.”

In addition to a relatively small site land area, the project team encountered a variety of other challenges. For example, this area of California is particularly prone to earthquakes, and the site had poor geotechnical foundation conditions. Aesthetics also played a key role, and the design “complements the shipping and industrial nature of the area.”

Stacy and Witbeck served as general contractor; the SFMTA served as construction manager. The project was substantially completed in September 2008, one month ahead of schedule.