Monday, December 6, 2021

SAE NW Technical event: Engineering Challenges of Placing Light Rail across a Floating Bridge


SAE NW Technical event: Engineering Challenges of Placing Light Rail across a Floating Bridge with John Sleavin, Deputy Executive Director of Design Engineering and Construction Management at Sound Transit is on Dec 7 at 5PM PST.

Running light rail over a floating bridge has never been done before anywhere in the world. Sound Transit will be the first agency to ever do this. Installing light rail across the flexing, twisting I‑90 Lake Washington Floating Bridge presented a host of unique engineering challenges including weight limitations, ensuring electric-powered trains could travel safely across a large body of water, and more. We’ll cover a few of them and go into detail on how they placed light rail tracks from the fixed bridge to the floating bridge across eight transition joints, each of which had to accommodate six degrees of movement. We’ll trace the engineering challenges from early concept, through design, testing, and installation. John Sleavin’s engineering career includes an impressive array of transportation projects, including several in Malaysia, Singapore, and Portland. In Seattle, the projects he’s been involved with are almost the history of major engineering projects within the region. They include Link Light Rail in Tacoma, the South Lake Union Streetcar, Sounder Commuter Rail between Seattle and Tacoma, the original Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, construction of the light rail segment from downtown to the airport including Beacon Hill tunnels, the University and Northgate Link Extensions, and the 14-mile East Link Extension which includes the I‑90 Floating Bridge. Currently John oversees Link Extensions to the Tacoma Dome, West Seattle, Ballard, and Everett, and Operations and Maintenance Facilities North and South.


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