Moving Steel Beams into Place at Rockville Station

Published: October 14, 2021 | En Español

Construction Update

Rockville Canopy timeline graphic phase two steel beam installation
Timeline graphic showing Phase Two – steel beam installation

  • Demolition of the old canopy, columns and skylight is now complete. As mentioned in the first project update, the old canopy was removed in three spans using a remote-controlled demolition machine. A crane was then used to move over 30 concrete blocks from the platform level to the staging area, where the debris was broken into smaller pieces and hauled away for recycling. Recycled concrete, also known as recycled concrete aggregate (RCA), is commonly reused as the base of highways and roads. 
Rockville Canopy Demolition Timelapse
Click the photo to view a time-lapse video of demolition.

  • Now construction crews are erecting the steel frame of the new canopy using a second 330-ton crane. During this process, eight truckloads of steel beams, columns and cantilevers (horizontal support structures) were installed using over 1,000 bolts. The largest steel beams weigh up to 160 pounds per foot of steel - equal to about 10 bowling balls. While some noise is expected, it will not be as loud as the jackhammering during the previous demolition phase. 
Steel beams in place at Rockville
Steel beams in place at Rockville Station
Steel beam installation at Rockville
Steel beam installation at Rockville Station

  • Once the steel structure is in place, the project will move into the third phase of construction – installing the glass fiber reinforced concrete paneling (GFRC). To prepare for this, construction crews built a prototype of the steel columns and GFRC to ensure the steel beams meet quality standards and remain safe and reliable for years to come.
First GFRC panels at Rockville Station
Photo of first GFRC panels

Reminder: Look for our outreach teams in yellow vests to help answer service questions at Shady Grove, Rockville and Twinbrook stations!

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.

Four 55-inch Passenger Information Display Screens (PIDS) will be installed under the canopy on a pylon – the vertical columns that display the name of the station, maps or directional arrows. The new screens will be 20% larger than the old screens, brighter for increased visibility and display train arrival times and service announcements simultaneously.

Illustration of Passenger Information Display Screens
Illustration of Passenger Information Display Screens

Make sure to read the next project update to learn about Rockville canopy’s new public address (PA) system.

Retracing History

From our series of historic photos of Rockville Station, this week’s photo is even further back than the last one. This photo shows the station in 1979, as a blank canvas, before the platform or the framework of the original canopy was built. At this time, the Metrorail system had a total of 36 stations (compared to 91 stations today).  

Over the next few years of construction, the aerial structure took form and the canopy became an iconic piece of architecture for the Metrorail system. More photos of the old canopy during construction will be shared in future project updates.

Trivia: Can you guess the weight of the old canopy? Find out in the next project update.

Rockville Station in 1979
Rockville Station in 1979

Picture Perfect

Check out the new online photo gallery, where new construction progress photos will be added throughout the project. 

Trivia Question – September 30, 2021 Project Update

Answer: 1980