WMATA selects Hensel Phelps-Stantec design-build team for new rail facility

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has selected the design-build team of Hensel Phelps-Stantec to design and deliver the WMATA Rail Heavy Repair and Overhaul (HRO) Facility, located in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

The approximately US$225 million project will support WMATA’s goals for greater efficiency and a new process for railcar maintenance, repairs, and overall operations.

With the second busiest rapid transit system in the United States, averaging over 625,000 daily rail users in 2019, the upgraded facility will advance WMATA’s goals for an improved transit experience as transportation authorities across the nation prepare for an ensuing rebound in ridership following the COVID-19 pandemic. In support of WMATA’s objectives, the Hensel Phelps-Stantec team will provide design, construction, testing, and commissioning services to deliver an innovative and sustainable project as well as a master plan to accommodate future growth.

The HRO Facility will serve Metrorail vehicles and car track equipment maintenance with service bays for 40 rail cars, a rail car truck shop, and storage tracks to accommodate up to 24 rail cars. The project will also include a new rail connection from the project site to the Metrorail Orange Line. The project is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Advancing WMATA’s mission for a more sustainable future, the design team will also integrate green design features with a goal for the facility to meet LEED Platinum certification. Project priorities include water demand reduction, significant daylighting for train repair and office operations, energy use reduction, innovative stormwater management practices, and optimized indoor environmental quality.

“This new facility will support an enhanced model for maintenance and repairs that will contribute to WMATA’s objectives for a safer and more efficient system,” said Ken Anderson, transit sector leader for Stantec’s Buildings practice. “By integrating sustainability and resiliency with advanced functionality and high-quality spatial design, WMATA is positioned to have one of the most unique transit facilities in the country.”

Optimizing mass transit
The Hensel Phelps-Stantec team has designed and constructed over 500 mass transit projects for over 180 transit authorities across North America, including the two largest transportation authorities in the United States. Hensel Phelps has constructed over US$800 million worth of projects for WMATA, including the MWAA Dulles Railyard & Maintenance Facility and the New Carrollton Shop & Inspection Yard.

Stantec’s extensive work with North America’s leading transit authorities has involved expanding networks, increasing support infrastructure, and upgrading maintenance and storage capabilities. Recent project experience includes the Sound Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility East, in Bellevue, Washington; the LA Metro Division 14 Light Rail Operations & Maintenance Facility, in Santa Monica, California; and the Whitby Rail Maintenance Facility, in Ontario, Canada.

Stantec’s scope of work for this WMATA project includes architecture, rail engineering, sustainability consulting, industrial equipment design, and systems integration.

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