All posts by Eileen Brown

Phillip Ward on His Pride for the Work at the Silver Line Phase 2

For Owings, Md. native Phillip Ward, 25, fire has been the substance upon which he built his career and a common thread that connects many aspects of his life. As a teen, he volunteered as a firefighter. As an apprentice ironworker with American Ironworks/Continental Construction, he now melts metals as he helps build out the Silver Line Phase 2A. And for his new fiancée, he melts metals in his home forge to make her wedding band in the Japanese Mokume-Gane, or wood-grain metal, style. He’s in the last year of his union’s four-year apprenticeship program, and is proud to already have a monumental project under his belt.

How did you get interested in doing ironwork? I started back in high school. I took two years of welding. I kind of bounced around and tried to find something else I was interested in, but I always kept doing welding on the side. I ended up getting some welding jobs and realized I could make a career out of something I enjoyed and then got a job in the Ironworkers Union [The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers] three years ago.

What do you now do on the Silver Line? When I first started, we were doing everything from galvanized guardrails, galvanized stair rails, sinew clips, divider beams. We’ve done heavier miscellaneous beams, which were used for what they call a trolley beam, to hoist heavy equipment into the Metro stations. We’ve done ladders, including pit ladders for elevators.

More structural than decorative work? Initially, but earlier this year I started doing cladding, which is what we call finished ornamental material. Doing stainless cladding on the elevator shafts at several of the stations. Since January, I’ve been doing finished material, whether it be cladding on the elevator shafts or what we call Alucobond panels, which is an aluminum metal and plastic bonded panel that gets painted.

Do you favor structural or ornamental work? I kind of enjoy it all, to be honest.

Is there something you like best about working on the Silver Line? Being on such a historic project. Not only is this the first time merging the Metro system and Dulles International Airport, but this is a project that will be around for a long time. I know all of our work will last a long, long time, and I have confidence in all the other trades have delivered high quality work as well.

To build something that has this much visibility – obviously a lot of attention needs to be paid to quality work and safe work. How would you characterize the emphasis on quality and safety on the Silver Line project? There’s several different QCs [Quality Control] who insure not only that we’re doing the highest quality work, but that everybody is working safely. They ask questions and constantly look out for everybody. If we see an issue, we’re also encouraged to say something. We’re all encouraged to look after each other.

And have there been any personal triumphs? I’m pretty proud of the work I’ve done at Ashburn Station. There were trolley beams – actually the biggest ones on the whole job site. They were right around 52 feet long and around 138 pounds a foot. Those were the biggest beams I’ve ever put up! And normally with something like that, you’ve got a crane to set it. But we were in a precast room where we didn’t have access to a crane, so we had to use different chain falls. It was a real interesting experience, and I was happy to be involved in it and learn from it. I think when it was all said and done between the three beams, it was something like 18,000 pounds!

That’s a lot! Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Attention to detail. I like to make sure every little detail is perfect and everything is to the highest of standards.

Makes you proud? Definitely! It really didn’t set in, in all honesty, until now that we’re nearing the end. I’m proud to stand back and look at it and be able to say that I worked on a project like this. I’m sure a lot of trades people, or almost anybody in the construction industry, says the same thing about any project. But I feel like this one is different compared to the other ones I’ve been at, just because of the amount of people that will go through these stations. Most job sites that I’ve been on, most people don’t even bat an eye. They just think it’s another construction project. But where I’m at right now, at the Dulles Station, we constantly have passengers going back and forth through the pedestrian tunnel that crosses through the Metro station. Sometimes, we’re working right where people can see us and they come and talk to us. People are constantly stopping and asking questions and are impressed by all the work. That’s when it really set in about how big of a project it is and how many people are actually going to see it.

Moore on Managing and Mentoring Along the Silver Line Phase 2

Few take the road less traveled. It requires a certain mindset – dedication, hard work, and the unwavering belief that it will lead to the right destination. Scott Moore, 58, has always taken the road less traveled. As general superintendent, the 19-year Clark Construction veteran and native Texan now manages the entire Silver Line Phase 2 project. Overseeing a civil engineering construction project that includes six stations and 11 miles of rail requires a strong work ethic and a keen eye for detail. Over the years, experience has honed his eye for the nuance that matters on projects of this scope. Moore also finds time to mentor colleagues while ensuring safety and quality remain their focus.

How’d you get into construction? My stepdad was in the civil construction business – loaders, dump trucks, dozers, and graders. I grew up around all of that equipment and that type of work. And as I got old enough to be a workhand, I was out working. I liked the trade and I liked the business. Later, my dad bought an old house and we added onto it. I got really involved – wood work, carpentry work. I had a knack for it. So, when I got out of school, I worked for my dad a little bit when he needed an extra hand and then I started my own business building houses.

Tell me about what you do for CRC on the Silver Line Phase 2. We have six stations spread out over 13 miles of track, and there is a superintendent or assistant superintendent managing each station. My job is to manage those people. I actually help get the station built. I manage the subs. I manage the CRC folks. And then I always consider myself as kind of straddling the fence, from the office to the field. I’ve got to push on the office to give me what I need in the field to get things built. Then, I work with the field to actually go out and get it built.

What do you like best about working on this project? There is always something new. This job is different in a lot of ways compared with the other jobs I’ve done. We self-perform a lot of work here from the civil side to getting involved in putting down rail. I can say I’ve done it all now.

Do any personal successes on this project stand out? I thrive on giving back. Working with the younger generation to ensure they leave this project with something that will help them and advance their careers. That’s really rewarding for me.

You get to be a mentor? Absolutely. On a daily basis. And that is one of the things that motivates me every day.

You’re also part of a project that’s in our nation’s capital, that’s going to have a great impact for a long time. How does being part of that make you feel? It’s satisfying. I’ve built hospitals — two military hospitals, one county hospital out in California. To know that those hospitals save lives – that’s rewarding, right? To me that’s just like the Silver Line [Phase 2]. I know when I get done here, there will be people who will use these trains to get from one place to the other for years to come. And it’s the fruits of my labor that will serve a purpose for a lot of people. Definitely a sense of pride and a lot of self-satisfaction. And it’s fun.

You have a passion for this project. Absolutely. It’s not always easy to find your passion. But when you find it, it is so rewarding. My advice to anyone searching for their passion is to find what you really want to do. I can tell you, over my years, I’ve searched for that right place. I tell people that the roads I’ve traveled and the different turns that I made have all led me to where I am. And it’s made me a better superintendent, a better builder. I’m where I’m supposed to be.

You’ve got decades of experience in construction. When you think about the Silver Line Phase 2 project in terms of safety and quality, how does it stand out in your mind compared with some of the other work sites you’ve been on? No matter what job I’m on, safety’s first. Without safety, without quality, you just don’t have a job. It’s personal to me that everyone who walks in on my job leaves the way they came in. I go out of my way to get to know everyone on a job. That personal interaction with people means a lot. Quality… that goes back to pride. If you just go out, throw something up and you don’t care what you doing, how can you have any pride? Every job that I’m a part of, safety and quality are first and foremost.

When this project wraps up soon, how will you know it’s a success? Success would be seeing people on the train, doing their thing, commuting. That’s what it’s for. Success is also seeing others move on to their next jobs, advance in their careers to be what I know they’re going to be. That’s the long-term success.

Those future commuters… what would you like them to know about the work that went into building the Silver Line Phase 2? There have been a lot of people working extremely hard to get this job completed, and with quality in mind, to give them a safe system to commute to whatever destination they’re going to. It’s taken a lot of people, a lot of hard work, and putting a lot of pride in what they’re doing to make this happen. And it’s not just a job – it’s looking out for one another. When this job is done, I’ll leave here with some great friendships that I will carry on ‘til the end of time.

Silvio Ribera on Perfecting Craft and Communication on the Silver Line Phase 2

Not everyone is able to wake up for work at 3:30 a.m. with a smile on their face.  But that is how Silvio Ribera, 46, starts his day – with a sense of purpose and pride in the life he has built for his family.  A journeyman electrician with Ennis Electric who has spent two years on the Silver Line Phase 2A, Silvio came to the United States from Bolivia and began learning the construction trade in New York City.  He eventually ventured south to Manassas, Va., where he, wife Wendy, and baby Juliette enjoy the warmer climate and proximity to Washington, D.C.’s offerings. The Lincoln Memorial is a favorite, he says. With CRC, he’s helped build a lasting public project while simultaneously advancing his skills in electrical work and English. He remains grateful for the help of fellow tradesmen and colleagues. Most of all, he exudes an honest excitement for his job and an appreciation for the opportunity to put his skills into practice on the Silver Line project.

When did you get to the United States? I came 19 years ago from Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I’ve been a citizen for two and half years.

And what brought you here? The American Dream!

Do you feel like you are achieving it? Oh yes, because my family is more solid and strong (financially). I wake up early every day, I go to work and I am happy. Every day, we have a good life and I have these emotions every time. It’s different here. Americans wake up in the morning and go to work, and we did too in Bolivia. But the in-between – Bolivia is poor and sometimes you’d have to go out to get water to bring it to your table. Here you go to the sink and you have water, hot water! You have to appreciate that, because other countries don’t have that luxury. You go to these supermarkets and it’s clean, it’s safe, and there’s so much food. In other places, you have to harvest your food to put something on the table!

How did you get into electrical work? I’ve been doing it six years. Four years ago, I was living in New York City, working for myself doing home improvement. I had some friends in Virginia asking me, “How are things going in New York?” I’d tell them, “Things are going slow.” They all told me to move to Virginia. I was working in a big city and already knew the electrical code book, so I came to Virginia and went to work for Ennis Electric.

Did you go to trade school? Ennis has a four-year training program that I finished. I just graduated and became a journeyman.

How long have you been on the Silver Line Phase 2A? Two years, and I’ve worked at two stations, including Dulles Airport.

Tell me about your average day. What sorts of things do you do on the project? I bend the pipe into conduits, free the wires, and put in fixtures. I like working with the other electricians and trades. I wake up happy every morning and I am never bored! It’s exciting!

Have you had to overcome any challenges? English! I’m still learning to communicate in English. I try to listen to the guys, my boss, my foreman, my mechanic…

Is it fair to say CRC has been helpful and kind, willing to work around the language barrier? Oh yes! Everyone helps teach me!

How do you feel about the quality of the work you’re doing? It’s very high quality. When it is finished, the people will see it and say, “Wow, this is beautiful – this is high quality!” But safety too. It’s excellent. Everyone takes care of each other. They say, “Hey… safety! Put on your hat, glasses, and gloves!”

Was there any particular task or day on the job that was a real accomplishment for you? The whole job! It’s a big, big project, a lot of people working and that means a lot of coordination. The mental part is big. The mechanics, electricians – they all come from different companies. But the organization is accurate. CRC knows how to manage the moving parts. It’s a big project, and it’s in our nation’s capital.

Does working on a project like this instill a sense of pride? I am proud to be part of something that people will use to travel and will wonder how long it’s been here. I would like my daughter, 20 years from now, to travel to the airport [on the Silver Line] and say, “My dad worked here – he built this!” I’ll be proud to show my family the work I’ve done. I come home excited about what I’ve done.

It’s, in part, a monument to your good work and many others’! But what’s your favorite monument in Washington, D.C.? I have visited all of them, but for me it’s the Lincoln Memorial! I like the big eyes and the big chair. For me, he symbolizes America. I like his story.

Behdad Balazadeh on Welding Steel and his own American Dream

Perhaps no one has spent more time on the Silver Line than Springfield, Va., resident Behdad Balazadeh. And the journey for the 47-year-old project engineer with Hillis-Carnes Engineering Associates Inc. might also be the longest. It began more than 6,000 miles away in Tehran, Iran, where he was born into a family of healthcare professionals. His father and uncles were doctors, and his mother was a nurse. Despite some pressure to pursue medicine as a vocation, Balazadeh attended university in Tehran and graduated in 1995 with a degree in materials engineering. After earning his master’s in 1999 in materials engineering with a focus on corrosion prevention, he felt a pull toward the United States. Now, he looks back at three years on the CRC’s Silver Line Phase 2 project, where he ensures every weld and connection are the highest quality possible.

When you were growing up in Iran, what was it that drew you to engineering, to wanting to be part of this field? Honestly, I didn’t want to be an engineer! Because my father was a doctor, my uncle was a doctor, a couple of my cousins were in education. We didn’t have an engineer in the family. But I don’t know what happened to me. And I wanted to be a doctor! But I changed my mind, went through this route, and I love it.

What did you do when you first got to the United States? In Iran, I was working in the power plant manufacturing industry. When I got here, I thought to myself: “What can I do?” I found the American Welding Society, filled out the application to become a CWI-certified welding inspector, took the exam, and I passed. And a week after that, I found a job. Do you know what that job was?

Tell me. Silver Line Phase 1!

Wow, you have a real history with this project! You’ve seen the whole Silver Line project through? Yeah! My first job was working on Silver Line Phase 1; I joined Silver Line Phase 2 in mid-2016. My job is inspecting structural steel and welded connections – everything that comes to steel, bolted connections, decking, columns, precast connections, stuff like that.

Paint us a picture of what your typical workday looks like. I start with paperwork in the morning— reports or remaining emails from the last day. Then, I check the schedule or my texts and stuff like that, to see what scheduled jobs I have for that day that require inspection. Then I head out to different sites that where there is work to be inspected. I talk to subcontractors, superintendents, and engineers about job topics – ask questions, answer questions other people have. I go back to the office in the afternoon and update my inspection log which includes where I inspected and any potential issues, and then talk to the Quality Control (QC) team because we have different inspectors for different activities. And then at the end of the day, I check my schedule and plan for the next day.

What sort of things do you look for during your welding inspection? We follow codes and the approved structural drawings and shop drawings. We look at the drawings, look at what has been welded, and measure the welds. If any non-destructive tests are required, if any pre- or post-treatment required, we follow the instructions – whatever we have in the drawing, specification, or standard.

Having worked on Phase 1 of this project before joining CRC to work on Phase 2 — how well has inspection gone, comparatively, for Phase 2 given your work experience? How would you grade it? Rarely in projects can you find such a professional manner as what we have on this project. One of the things I love about this project is the QC system here. I think it’s one of the best systems I’ve ever worked with.. If I find something that needs to be corrected, nobody questions that. Everybody’s trying to work and help each other to solve that problem, and this is very important. That’s a very important point to me – the QC system here is very professional.

What other sorts of things set Phase 2 apart, make it special? First, the teamwork. I’ve never experienced such teamwork! Everybody’s united for one goal – the best quality possible. Everyone in operations at CRC works with the quality control team to get the best quality possible. It’s also very organized and duties are clear. If you work for a week on this project, the first thing you realize is that all the parties involved in this project – I’m talking about CRC, I’m talking about clients, I’m talking about subcontractors, everybody – they all care a lot about this project. Everybody’s working to get the best quality. We are all working with code, IBC Chapters, s AWS D1.1, D1.5, etc. These are all standards, but these standards of codes are the minimum requirements for building. We are doing well above that!

During your time with the Silver Line Phase 2, are there any particular successes or triumphs that you had that stand out in your mind?  After a couple of years, when the job is almost done, you look at what you have done or the team has done – that’s a success! Because what we all want to do is provide the safest public facilities or, let’s say, infrastructure, for people in the United States. And that’s the reason, that’s the first requirement of IBC Code, International Building Code, is to maintain public safety and health. And when you see people working hard to maintain this quality with the highest standard, you’re proud.

What sort of impact do you think this project’s going to have in the future? What are going to be the benefits for the community? It will make travel easier, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly. We all waste our time in traffic during the day. Why not, instead, share that time with family and friends? And when the traveling is easier, it also helps the small businesses around these [Silver Line] facilities.

What would you like the people who will use the Silver Line Phase 2 rail line to know about it from your perspective? If you could talk to the future riders going out to Dulles, what would you like them to know when they get on Metro, see the stations and have that convenience? I’d like the people using this infrastructure in the future to know the people who worked on the project considered it building something for their families. My son is probably going to use it in the future. So, we made it as safe as possible.

How do you think you’ll feel when you see Phase 2 up and running? Each time we drive by the facilities or the bridges we built, I show them to my son and my wife and say, “Hey, this is my work!” My parents, actually, came over here to visit us. I showed them Phase 1: “Hey, this was our project when I started in the United States.” It’s going to be the same thing around here with Phase 2. It’s very amazing.

Michelle Cousté on Ensuring Quality as a Woman Field Leader in Construction

For CRC Assistant Superintendent Michelle Cousté, working in the construction industry is her passion. Building sets and running lighting cable while in the theater in school gave her a first taste of the industry and left her hungry for more. With a degree in civil and environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a member of the CRC team, she is the rare young woman in her field. And now, the 26-year-old native Marylander and current Arlington, Va., resident has found her ultimate role overseeing completion of the Ashburn Station on the Silver Line Phase 2 project. Her perfectionist nature, high standards, and extroverted personality have served her and CRC well as she ensures quality and safety are the first orders of business.

What led you into engineering and construction? I went to an all-girls Catholic school in Kensington, [Md.], and math and science weren’t necessarily our strong suits. Writing was the big focus for the school, so in every class you took you had to write a paper. Even in AP Calculus. The teacher said, “I’m going to have each of you write a report on a type of engineering.” I started reading and writing about what civil engineers did, what the day-to-day looked like, what skills it took, what kind of people did it. And the more I read, the more I thought, “Wait. This is me! This is using math and science skills to problem-solve, to help cities and infrastructure, and you work with a bunch of different types of people because you end up being the liaison between a bunch of different groups.” I did a complete about-face in all of my college search stuff at the end of junior year and started looking at civil engineering. I told my parents about this, and my mom said, “Oh yeah, you’ve always liked construction.” And I said, “What are you talking about?” And she said, “I used to walk you around the neighborhood, and you always cried. But the only time you would get entertained and not cry was when I would pull your stroller up in front of a construction site!”

You’ve always enjoyed process? Yeah. I find it really fascinating how a million little things can come together to make one thing that is complete and usable. One of the most beautiful things to me is watching two very skilled equipment operators work together with big machines to achieve something. It’s like ballet to me.

So you graduated and ended up at Clark Construction? I interned at a different construction company in Pittsburgh, near college. Then I started with the CRC team in August of 2015. I ended up back in this area just because of that opportunity. I have worked for three and a half years on the Silver Line [Phase 2] project.

How did you make your move from the office to the field? I’ve known I wanted to be in the field as a site superintendent since Day 1.  I was offered that opportunity about a year ago at the Innovation Station portion of the project. That day was the most enjoyable day I had at working in construction yet – being outside the whole day, meeting a million different people, learning about what was happening and what needed to happen. After three days of being out in the field, everyone above me, and even people working for other companies who I was working with, all went to my boss and were like, “Michelle’s great. You need to keep her out here.”

And now you have moved on from Innovation Station to Ashburn Station. What do you do specifically for CRC now at Ashburn Station? What’s your day look like? I come to our main set of trailers and pick up the truck that’s assigned to me, then I drive to Ashburn Station. I get there about 6 a.m., because that’s when work really starts for the day. First thing in the morning is a good time for me to check on progress and see where things are at, what things did and didn’t get done the day before. At 7 a.m., I have a meeting with all the foremen on the site for the day. One of the most dangerous locations requiring a lot of coordination is the track bed. I go over what’s going on for the day, and safety in general, and specifically for safety in the tracks. Then, those foremen have an opportunity to check in and I make announcements. I am basically coordinating and enabling all of the different trades to do their work for the day.

Getting aligned with those guys laying the concrete and the rebar, the electricians… Yeah, to the people doing the tile, to the people pulling cable for all the fire alarm devices, to the people fire proofing things, to the people building the elevators and escalators. Putting in handrails, putting in metal support beams and ceiling tiles. And walls, drywall and paint, everything. The superintendent is the main go-between that helps coordinate all those groups.

And then what? If we have to move equipment or move materials, I watch while the crews rig it up and use cranes and other equipment, just to make sure they’re doing it safely and correctly. I look at work that is being done, and make sure they’re doing it correctly or that it was done correctly, because I monitor the quality as well as the progress.

What do you like best about working on Silver Line Phase 2? It’s very cool that I’m working on a project that is going to have such a positive impact on so many people’s lives. More people are going to be able to get to Dulles to fly out of there. People out in this area are going to be able to work in D.C. without having to have cars. The public infrastructure aspect of it is very cool, but what I like best out of my experience is the people I have had the opportunity to work with.

Characterize this project… Obviously you view it through the lens of your station, but in terms of safety, how would you characterize it? Is this a really safe work site? Is this a really safe project? This project has a lot of unique challenges to safety, and very strict requirements for safety. It’s an interesting combination of a building and a rail project. When you have work several levels above the ground, there’s safety that goes with that, like any normal building construction. But there are also very specific safety rules when you have a railroad project because the tracks are dangerous. We have a lot of experienced people on the project, and we have a very stringent, robust safety program. There are a lot of specific safety trainings that people are required to go through at different phases of the project to make sure everyone is aware.

What would you like the people who live near the Phase 2 project and who are going to use it to know about all the work that’s gone into it and all the things you’ve done? We’re working hard to integrate this effectively into the community and make it helpful to everyone, not just people who ride the Metro. There are a lot of pedestrian bridges that you can use without having to pay to get onto the Metro train. There’s a lot of site lighting that we’re adding to help areas be more well-lit and therefore safer. We’re doing road improvements as part of it to make sure everything’s well-paved. We’re trying to generally improve the whole area at the same time as adding the Metro.

How will you feel when you drive by that station you’ve been working at or when you ride on the Silver Line, knowing that you had an important role in this project that’s going to last for a lifetime? I’m going to be so proud, honored, and excited to share it with everyone I know! The first time I get to ride out to one of these stations that I worked on with someone, they’re going to be so annoyed, because I’m going to be like, “You see that? I had to figure out how to solve that issue. And do you see that, over there? This has this cool system behind it. You can’t even see because its covered by a panel, but it’s really fascinating!” I’m just going to be so excited to share with everybody how much went into building this, and how proud I am that I had an integral impact in making it happen.

The Joneses on Work and Married Life at the Silver Line Phase 2

As masons, Jason and Resha Jones have laid a combined 1 million brick, tiles, and stones. Jason, 43, picked up the trade growing up in the construction business in Long Beach, Miss. Resha, 40, began the trade when Jason persuaded her to leave a career in nursing and join him as a colleague at Grazzini Brothers and Co. As husband and wife for five years, they have weathered countless challenges together. Today, that partnership helps add the finishing touches to a massive undertaking in civil engineering. In a city of famous buildings, every stone and tile they’ve laid the past two years on the Silver Line Phase 2 project is a monument to their relationship, a symbol of their adventure together, and their testament to an unwavering commitment to quality craftsmanship.

You’ve been married five years and now work together on the Silver Line Phase 2 project? What’s it like to work with your spouse?

Jason: It is as challenging as it would seem from the outside! You wake up in the morning and you’re going to work with the same person you went to bed with the night before. It’s a lot of time together. We have to go through everyday issues together. So, it can be challenging. I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody, but somehow we seem to do it.

Resha: Jason and I have been through a lot in our years together. And I think this project is challenging and also an adventure for us. I’m very excited we are doing this together because it’s something that we both can be proud that we accomplished as a husband and wife. That’s something I’m very proud of. We make a great team, and we work pretty good together.

What’s an average day look like for you?

Jason: We wake up, and if one of us is a little bit worn out from the day before, the other usually serves as the motivator. We kind of push each other, and we compete. Resha has five brothers, so she doesn’t hesitate one minute to get in there and get it going.

Tell me about what you do specifically on the project?

Jason: She and I both have done as much as the job entails, and more. We’ve done the edgestone granite at each platform. They’re 8-foot long by 2-foot wide pieces of 550-pound granite edgestones. She and I both laid those. We’ve installed pavers. We have worked with the crane operators to get the merchandise and materials on the platform. We have organized, set up, and broken down every facet of our projects. We’ve done pretty much everything there is to do out here.

Is there any particular part of the project that you’ve enjoyed the most?

Resha: I personally liked putting in the granite stones. It was challenging, and I found it pretty fun. That was huge for me – 550 pounds, having to haul it down. After the work was done, I looked at it and it was really nice. Everything’s leveled.

Jason: I like the fact that there’s so many trades working. In every location, we’ve got five, six different trades trying to get their individual jobs done. And trying to plan and coordinate with everybody to get the work done – that, to me, was the most challenging and inventive part of it, and I enjoyed it. That, and the edgestones – the tolerance to within a 16th of an inch. The actual rail and the train runs right next to that. So, we have to be on point.

Is there anything you’d like the people who will use the Silver Line [Phase 2] to know about the blood, sweat and tears that go into the work?

Resha: I want them to know a combination of things: that they’ll be safe with what was built. And also that everybody who’s worked on this project has really worked hard to make it not only look nice, but to make people feel comfortable and safe in a good environment.

Jason: I think everyone has come together with the area in mind. We all have done our part to make sure the quality is there and that we reached our goals, not only for the inspectors, but for the people who will use the system.

Jason, you’ve got a lifetime in construction, many years of doing masonry work. When you look at the work you’ve done and what you see on the Silver Line Phase 2 – in terms of quality, how does it compare with other projects you’ve been on?

Jason: There are two sets of quality control companies – one that represents the owner, and then one that represents CRC. So not only do we have to satisfy one QC [Quality Control] rep, we have to satisfy two. As soon as one goes through, you’ve got another one coming. So, it’s relatively impossible for things to get overlooked. The quality, I think, is absolutely phenomenal.

Dulles Metrorail Silver Line, Phase 2 Structural Steel Earns Washington Building Congress Craftsmanship Award

The Washington Building Congress (WBC) has recognized the quality of the structural steel framing on the Dulles Metrorail Silver Line, Phase 2A with a 2019 Craftsmanship Award.  As subcontractors to Capital Rail Constructors, Banker Steel Company (BSC) and Williams Steel Erection Co., Inc (Williams Steel) worked together to fabricate and install more than 4,000 tons of structural steel across six metrorail passenger stations, nine pavilion parking areas, and 31 pedestrian bridges for this project. Each work element incorporated distinctive and complex geometry that required a high level of coordination and advanced planning to fabricate and install steel with minimal disruption to the surrounding community.

Eighteen of the 31 pedestrian bridges were picked and set over active roadways. Access to the six passenger stations was frequently limited to an 11-foot drive lane in one direction. Because much of the work was adjacent to active roadways, the team performed significant coordination with other trades and traffic crews, as well as the Airports Authority, VDOT, MWAA Police, and other local and county agencies to ensure safe and successful installation.

The pedestrian bridges, some weighing more than 150,000 pounds, were transported utilizing Williams Steel’s 36-axle Goldhofer hauling rig.  Using the rig’s hydraulic lifts, the team was able to keep the bridge decks level while traversing over uneven roadways while fully loaded.

The project team’s exceptional quality and attention to detail were honored at the 63rd annual WBC Craftsmanship Awards Banquet on March 29, 2019.    

The Dulles Metrorail Silver Line, Phase 2A project will extend the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Silver Line 11.4 miles west to Dulles International Airport and beyond to Loudoun County.

MWAA Recognizes Jesse Rice with Silver Star Partner Award

In February, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) awarded Clark Construction Vice President Jesse Rice the Silver Star Partner award. The award recognizes individuals on the Capital Rail Constructors team who demonstrate dedication to project goals and whose actions inspire a positive and effective work environment.

In recognizing Jesse, project representatives from MWAA and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority had the following to say about his impact on the Silver Line Phase 2A project:

“Jesse meets every challenge with well thought out positions to guide the Project to success. If a decision must be made by others, Jesse always brings practical options for consideration…Jesse’s method of subtly guiding the decision makers has successfully advanced much of the work in the field to date. His persistence and dedication to the team is apparent every day as he continues to pull the project towards completion.”

Jesse, who joined Clark as a field engineer in 1997, has held numerous positions across the Clark organization, overseeing multiple public projects including the $1.4 billion National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Campus East project and the White House Visitor Center Rehabilitation project. Prior to joining the Dulles Silver Line project team, Jesse was responsible for developing the overall strategic direction and overseeing day-to-day operations for Clark’s Safety Department.

The Dulles Silver Line Phase 2 project will further extend the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Silver Line 11.4 miles west to Dulles International Airport and beyond to Loudoun County.