Washington, D.C. Mall Tunnel

by Allan B. MacPherson, (M.ASCE), Senior Vice Pres.; David Volkert & Associates, Washington, D.C.,
Philip E. Egilsrud, Project Mgr.; Sverdrup & Parcel and Assocs., Inc. St. Louis, Mo.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1975, Vol. 45, Issue 2, Pg. 64-68

Document Type: Feature article


The 4,002 ft (1220 m) cut and cover tunnel crossing the Mall just west of the U.S. Capitol created some unusual construction and design problems. Three areas warrant special mention. These include: Soil conditions, economics, and especially length of exit and entrance ramps demanded a low profile tunnel with minimum cover. As a result, the ventilation systems could not be placed along the ceiling of the tunnel structure. The ventilation exhaust towers presented the third major challenge. They had to be concealed within new Federal buildings to accommodate building criteria resulting from the proximity to the Capitol. These buildings are air rights structures.

Subject Headings: Shopping centers | Tunnels | Washington | United States

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