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Home » News » LRT sound wall dons the pads for University of Houston practice field

LRT sound wall dons the pads for University of Houston practice field

July 28, 2015

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Lightweight and easy-to-install AIL Sound Walls were recently selected for a particular section of Houston’s major Metrorail expansion. On this project, the University of Houston was concerned about protecting their football players and the City of Houston was concerned about protecting their main sewer and storm drainage lines.

The University asked that we design the barrier to allow for mounting heavy protective pads on the back, so we had to integrate extra reinforcement into our barrier to support that load. The City didn’t want a standard precast concrete sound barrier in this section, fearing its weight might damage the pipelines and repair/maintenance access might be more difficult. 

Our Tuf-Barrier (Reflective) sound wall system got ready to get its game face on and crossed those lines with ease. 

Part of a design-build project by Houston Rapid Transit Joint Venture
The Metrorail expansion was part of a $2 billion design-build project by Houston Rapid Transit Joint Venture (HRT JV) that included four new stations and 17 miles (27 kilometers) of new track. The HRT JV team included Parsons Transportation Group, Granite Construction Company, Kiewit Texas Construction L.P., and Stacy and Witbeck, Inc. 

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We worked hand in hand with Parsons to design a continuous footing foundation as they weren't able to drill traditional pillar footings due to the underground services. We also collaborated with the fence pad supplier to ensure our system was designed properly to accept and support their heavy load. This was a late add-on to the project, so we had to react quickly, with revised shop drawings and production. 

The barrier was supplied in a timely fashion and installed in just under two weeks. According to our colleagues at HRT JV, the Metrorail and University teams are both happy with the new barrier and received only positive feedback on the sleek look of our barrier over the standard precast alternatives.

Project at a glance:

Name: Houston Rapid Transit - University of Houston Sound Barrier
Location: Houston, TX
Owner: Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority   
Engineer: (HRT JV) Parsons Transportation Group   
Contractor: (HRT JV) Kiewit Texas Construction L.P.  
Product: Tuf-Barrier
Application: Light Rail Reflective Sound Barrier
Dimensions: Height 8 ft (2.5 m), length 461 ft (104.5 m) 
Installation tIme: Two weeks

Related AIL Sound Walls Article: 

Sound Wall benefits stack up for new WMATA test track facility »

Related Houston Project Articles:

Next City: In 2014, Houston Heads West as Light Rail Goes East »

Metro Magazine: Houston's light rail expansion moves forward with Purple Line »

Rail Means Business: Project Background »