Urban is pleased to announce that the Rail Park was recognized with a Project of the Year award by the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA). The project was honored in the “Infrastructure Project under $20 million” category at the chapter’s awards banquet held at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey.
“We would like to congratulate Center City District, A.P. Construction, and the firms involved in the successful completion of this new urban park,” said Matthew Marquardt, PE, senior vice president and COO for vertical services at Urban. “This is an important project for the City of Philadelphia that will lead to growth and economic development, as well as provide a safe public space for all residents. We are very proud of our construction management and design staff for their diligent work on this project.”
Phase I of the Rail Park in Philadelphia begins at 13th and Noble Streets, extending southeast to Callowhill Street, is currently owned by SEPTA and is a part of the larger, defunct Reading Railroad Viaduct. Major site improvements include the addition of staircases up from 13th Street and up from Callowhill Street, and utility connections for irrigation and lighting. Structural additions include the installation of cantilevers to support landscape plantings and overlook points. Landscape beds flank chip seal walking paths through the park, and there are areas for seating and gathering. Benches and platforms were constructed from a material called Ipe – a durable hardwood that is scratch-resistant and nonflammable.
Video from the Rail Park's ribbon cutting
Construction of the Rail Park presented the project team with several challenges and opportunities. The new park was built upon and directly tied to the existing features. New structural steel was attached to the existing superstructure, new paint applied to the existing steel, and new pavement placed atop the cobblestones and rails in the streets. The rough-around-the-edges nature of the pre-construction structure manifested itself through the use of weathering elements, namely Ipe hardwood and weathering steels. The architectural elements link the rustic heritage of the Reading Viaduct and surrounding neighborhood to its revitalized new construction. The project-specific procedures were designed to fully document project expectations, define specific responsibilities and lines of communication, and present the project schedule. Adherence to the quality standards provided the Rail Park team with the organization and tools necessary to maintain the schedule and budget and to expedite the project when necessary.
The annual Construction Management Project Achievement Awards program recognizes outstanding achievement in the practice of construction management. The awards program is designed to recognize and promote professionalism and excellence in the management of the construction process. Awards are given to construction management practitioners for projects and programs that reflect this mission.