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Miami AirportLink Metrorail Extension

Miami Dade Transit Authority
Miami, Florida

The AirportLink Metrorail Extension is one of several major transportation projects that RailWorks has constructed that are associated with Miami International Airport.

Over the decade, RailWorks Track Systems helped to dramatically change how people get to, from and within the Miami International Airport (MIA). By constructing three major transportation projects associated with MIA valued in the tens of millions of dollars, RailWorks has contributed to vastly improving mobility for employees, residents and the 35 million travelers who pass through the airport every year.

Construction of the AirportLink Metrorail Extension, formerly known as the Miami Dade County Orange Line Extension, began in April of 2009 and opened three years later. The 2.5-mile, heavy-rail elevated extension provided a new, direct transportation link between the existing Earlington Heights station downtown to the new Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) adjacent to the airport. This multi-level station provides passengers and employees with a central transfer point to different modes of transportation, including the MIA Mover, an automated people mover constructed by RailWorks that connects to the airport.

RailWorks worked as a subcontractor to Odebredcht-Tower Community Joint Venture to construct the $22 million, 36-month AirportLink project. Crews began construction in July of 2009 and installed 5 miles of track on elevated guideway through a congested urban area. Construction also included installing a #10 double crossover and two #15 turnouts to tie the new track to the existing Metrorail system.

To maximize productivity, the project management team carefully planned work and coordinated closely with the owner and other subcontractors. With limited access points along the entire route, a major challenge was efficiently getting manpower, equipment and materials to targeted areas on the guideway as they were completed and became available. RailWorks’ managers modified plans based on what guideway sections were available so they could keep crews working. In all, RailWorks furnished and installed concrete plinths to construct 26,000 feet of track and concrete pedestals, and furnished and installed 28,000 linear feet of composite contact rail and two friction-type bumping posts.

With no safety incidents on the project, RailWorks contributed to Odebrecht’s receipt of an OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) nomination. This voluntary program recognizes exemplary employers and workers who cooperate to effectively implement safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national industry averages.