The Tunnel That Transformed Philadelphia

by Rita Robison, Assoc. Ed.; Civil Engineering--ASCE, New York, N.Y. 10017,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1985, Vol. 55, Issue 7, Pg. 38-41


Document Type: Feature article

Errata: (See full record)

Abstract: The 1985 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement is the Center City Commuter Rail Connection, a 1.7 mile tunnel connecting two former stub-end railroad stations in Philadelphia. The $330 million project required snaking the four-track tunnel through the densely packed substructure of the city, underpinning 12 buildings along its path, all without disrupting utilities and existing subways. The former Suburban Station was refurbished and a new Market East Station was constructed under the existing Reading Terminal. This serves as the catalyst for redevelopment of the Market St. East business district, where more than $1 billion in new construction is scheduled. Construction management, a joint venture of three civil engineering firms, involved supervision of 46 multi-discipline construction contracts and more than 300 subcontracts.

Subject Headings: Construction | Rail transportation | Tunnels | Urban areas

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