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Sound Wall benefits stack up for new WMATA test track facility

March 9, 2015

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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is constructing a $66 million test track, commissioning and parking garage facility near their maintenance yard in Greenbelt, Md, with our economical AIL Sound Walls getting the nod for their sound barrier solution.

Significant cost savings over concrete alternatives
This design-build project originally called for precast concrete panels on a 10' spacing. However, we were able to span 12' with our lightweight PVC Tuf-Barrier panels, which meant fewer posts — and those posts are also lighter with smaller foundations. This has created significant cost savings on material and installation for this project which is still underway at time of writing.

Tight site with limited access 
Like many railway installations, this project has a very tight site with limited access. Our lightweight components are easily stored and handled on the site, either by hand or with lighter-duty lifting equipment. 

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Poor foundation soils and obstructions
Poor foundation soils and obstructions (a box culvert) have required custom connections and spans. As these issues are addressed, the versatility of our AIL Sound Wall system and design team are significantly improving production speed. Our 60,000 SF of walls are also being used in both ground-mounted and wall-mounted applications – there’s that versatility thing again.

Our design-build partners are very happy
Good collaboration with our project partners and our timely drawings and material supply are keeping us in lock-step with their aggressive construction schedule. Both WMATA (the owner) and Skanska (the engineer/contractor) have commented positively on the sections that have been installed so far. They can readily see how the benefits of AIL Soundwalls — appearance, lower installed cost, easy handling and low-maintenance — are stacked in their favor.

Related article on RT&S website »

More about AIL Sound Walls »

Project-at-a-glance

Project Name: Greenbelt Test Track Sound Barrier
Location: Greenbelt, Md
Owner: WMATA   
Engineer/Contractor: Skanska  
Product: AIL Sound Walls, Tuf-Barrier (Reflective)
Application: Sound barrier for a rail test track facility
Dimensions: Height 6' to 10', length 4,040' 
(50,000 SF ground-mounted, 10,000 SF mounted on retaining wall)