McCarthy was selected by Houston METRO to construct this 2,400-linear-foot grade separation over the HBT/UPRR railroad tracks located just west of Hughes Road on Houston’s east end, which will complete the final piece of METRO’s recent major $1.5 billion LRT system extension. With a very fast 12-month schedule, the project required constructing a bridge structure with two 16-foot wide vehicular traffic lanes, a 26-foot wide Light Rail Transit (LRT) guideway located in the center of the bridge structure, installation of ballasted, embedded and direct fixation track, as well as aesthetic architectural elements and LED lighting both on top and underneath the bridge structure. At-grade work required reconstruction of two new 16-foot wide frontage roads and sidewalks, at-grade crossings over the HBT/UPRR railroad tracks and a new storm drainage system.
Because the project is located in a very tight corridor with extensive pedestrian, vehicular, and bus traffic, McCarthy implemented extensive safety and traffic control plans to separate our work area and protect the public. Other challenges included extensive underground utility coordination, working in, around, and over a very active Union Pacific railroad line, and removal and mitigation of existing hazardous material.