What You’ll Build: Infrastructure

What You’ll Build: Infrastructure

There are two main types of construction projects—buildings and infrastructure. Each type has some pretty amazing opportunities.

Infrastructure

Roads, rails, airports, power stations, water treatment plants, fiber optics networks—it’s easy to take them for granted. Millions of people use them every day without a thought, and that means builders have done their jobs right. Infrastructure projects are massive and intricate. They involve the coordinated effort of a lot of specialists, huge equipment, and major money—and there’s not one spot on earth that doesn’t need infrastructure. And with the new $1 trillion infrastructure bill, billions of dollars will flow to states and cities to upgrade roads, bridges, transit systems and more. Nearly all trades and design and management professionals are needed, so there’s probably a job for you on a big infrastructure project.
Transportation. Building and rebuilding roads, rails, airports and ports takes skill, precision and a commitment to providing the safest and most efficient means of moving people and goods.

Underground in LA

Regional Transit Connector
Cars may be getting a run for their money in Los Angeles. The city built a 1.9-mile light rail subway in Downtown Los Angeles that connects to the Metro Blue Line and Exposition Lines from Long Beach and Santa Monica. Builders used an Earth Pressure Balanced (EPB) Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) for the 22-foot-diameter twin-bored tunnels and used cut and cover construction in the highly congested financial district in Los Angeles. This section and the three stations—one of which required extensive underpinning—was constructed during 55-hour weekend closures and with the use of temporary traffic decking.

Extending Transit in Seattle

Lynwood Extension
In the works is a 2-station, 3.7-mile-long light rail transit extension to Seattles transit system. Besides 2.3 miles of elevated guideway and 1.4 miles of at-grade guideway, on the agenda are: demolition, clearing and grubbing, utility relocations, track-work, retaining walls, site work, a 1,650-stall parking garage at Lynnwood Transit Center, traction power substations and various signal buildings, foundations for OCS poles, sound walls, road work, site improvements, storm water retention facilities, and restoration. As always in this type of project, coordination is key: with other adjacent transit lines, as well as with residents, businesses, bus operations, public and private service providers and active roadway and interstate operations.

Modernizing a Swinging Bridge

North Portal Bridge
Over New Jersey’s Hackensack River is a two-track, “movable” railroad swing-bridge. The bridge is a century old, and its design, condition, and outmoded technology make it a single point of failure on the Northeast Corridor, the most heavily used passenger rail line in the US. Engineers and builders will replace the old bridge with a new two-track fixed structure with approach spans on both sides of the river, and new railroad embankment sections to support the new tracks. Also in the works are many new improvements to the railroad’s track, catenary, electrification, communications, signaling systems, and demolition of the existing bridge.

More Parkland for The Big Apple

East Midtown Greenway
New Yorkers love their parks and even more so when they afford access to the waterfront. A new section of esplanade and related development is coming to Manhattan’s East River from 38th to 60th Street. Connections from three cross streets to the waterfront, and a pedestrian bridge will bring local Manhattanites access to the East River that has been blocked by the FDR Drive for more than half a century. Eventually, this stretch of esplanade will be part of a larger East River Waterfront esplanade that will fill a major gap in the 32-mile Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.

Hunts Point: Revitalizing a Critical Food Hub

Hunts Point Market
The Hunts Point area is New York City’s major fresh produce distribution center, and the largest of its kind in the world. The city is supporting a long-range redevelopment plan to realize community and infrastructure goals. A key goal is increasing access between the Hunts Point Peninsula and surrounding heavily trafficked expressways to improve traffic flow and assure safety for local motorists and pedestrians—helping to realize an important vision for the Hunts Point Market and for Bronx residents.

LaGuardia 2.0

LaGuardia Airport Redevelopment
New York’s LaGuardia Airport is nearing completion of a massive multi-year construction plan that has transformed it from “the worst to the best.” The airy, art-filled airport features a world-class, ultra-modern passenger experience with top-flight customer amenities, state-of-the-art architecture, more spacious gate areas and a unified terminal system. A key part of the effort involved removing the existing Central Terminal B and replacing it with a new 35-gate terminal, Central Hall, West Garage, related roadways and supporting infrastructure. Dual pedestrian bridges spanning active aircraft taxi lanes connect the terminal to two island concourses, improving circulation and reducing delays, while offering a dramatic view of the Manhattan skyline.

From Post Office to Penn Station

Moynihan Train Station
The 100-year old James A. Farley Post Office and Annex Building has been reinvented—and incorporated into the modern Empire Station Complex, increasing by 50 percent the concourse space of Penn Station, a major New York City rail hub. A new 225,000-SF train hall houses passenger facilities, waiting areas, ticketing areas, and expanded access to platforms and tracks for Amtrak, LIRR, New Jersey Transit, and Metro-North riders. The building centerpiece is a breathtaking 92-foot-high barrel-vaulted skylight above the former post office's historic steel trusses. Crews used 775,000 pounds of steel reinforcement and installed nearly 2,200 individually crafted glass panels to create the new skylight. The result: a grand civic space that celebrates the unique history of the Farley Building while evoking the vaulted concourse of the original Penn Station.

Improving Safety on a Mountain Pass Road

SR Truck Climbing Lanes
Route 60 between California’s Beaumont and Moreno Valley was a narrow 4-lane road with no internal or external shoulders, and steep inclines and sharp low-visibility turns. To improve safety, the building team added an eastbound truck climbing lane and westbound truck descending lane, widening the highway shoulders to standard width, and replacing existing asphalt cement pavement with jointed plain concrete pavement. Construction crews excavated hillsides to widen the highway, moving an average of 15,000 cubic yards of dirt per day. Roadway curves were flattened improving motorist visibility, retaining walls installed, drainage systems built, and wildlife crossings provided, to make this once treacherous mountain pass as safe as possible.

Fast Facts about Builders

Augmented reality is affecting construction—in winning more projects, improving safety and facilitating team interaction.

Women are increasingly joining the construction workforce, in skilled trades all the way to the executive suite.

From AI and advanced intelligent materials to drones and robotics, the construction industry is building better and more sustainably.

Skilled trades let you follow your passion in a specialized way.

Infrastructure builds big to move people and products.

There are many paths to construction and many ways to get there.

Construction is going green every which way, every day.

You can use your skills, make good money, and do something meaningful.

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