Over 570 Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete Panels Form the Canopy at Rockville Station

Published: October 28, 2021 | En Español

Construction Update
Timeline graphic showing Phase Three
Timeline graphic showing Phase Three – glass fiber reinforced concrete paneling (GFRC)

  • Over the last two weeks, crews completed the second phase of construction – installation of the steel beams. First, the columns and cantilevers were installed to form the base of the structure. Then, 250 steel pieces, the heaviest weighing up to 18,000 pounds, were lifted by a crane and bolted into place.
  • Click the photo below for a bird’s-eye view of the canopy taking shape
birds eye view of the Rockville canopy
  • The third phase of construction, installation of the glass fiber reinforced concrete paneling (GFRC), is now underway. GFRC is lighter and has better weatherproofing than the original canopy’s primary material, concrete. The new canopy will weigh nearly 313 tons – 30.5% lighter than the original canopy. The lighter canopy will place less stress on the station platform, preserving the overall infrastructure of the station and making it more reliable for years to come. 
Photo of GFRC panels
Photo of GFRC panels

  • The GFRC panels are placed over the structural steel to form the outer layer of the canopy. When complete, over 570 GFRC panels covering approximately 21,000 square feet will be installed – equal to nearly 4.5 basketball courts! Noise during this phase and for the remainder of construction will be minimal.
Photo of GFRC installation 1
Photo of GFRC installation 2
Photos of GFRC installation

  • Once all the GFRC panels have been installed, the project will move into the fourth phase of construction – installing the skylights. During this phase, the triangular skylight at the peak of the canopy will be visible, showcasing the same timeless design as the original canopy.  
ICYMI: Relive milestone moments and check out the project’s online photo gallery!

Customer Experience Improvements

When the project is complete, Rockville Station will provide an enhanced customer experience that brings a higher level of safety, convenience and communication.

Improved platform speakers and public address system equipment will deliver higher quality and clearer announcements.
Illustration of new Rockville platform speakers
Illustration of new platform speakers

Make sure to read the next project update to learn about Rockville canopy’s new closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV).

In addition to the Rockville Canopy Replacement Project, Metro is taking advantage of the station closure to advance other capital projects including:
Photo of reopened Rockville Pedestrian Bridge
Photo of reopened Rockville Pedestrian Bridge

Retracing History

As Rockville Station opened to the public, the City of Rockville experienced a tremendous boost to its development from a suburban area to city. The bare skyline, seen behind the original canopy, changed dramatically with construction of the Montgomery County Executive Office Building and the Circuit Courthouse in 1982. Thank you to the MoCoShow for the history lesson!

Trivia: What is the name of the first Metrorail station that opened in Montgomery County?

Rockville canopy construction in 1981
Rockville canopy construction in 1981

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Trivia – October 15, 2021, Project Update
Question: Can you guess the weight of the old canopy? 
Answer: 450 tons! That’s equal to the weight of more than 3,600 panda bears.