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Burns Undertakes Design of Washington Metro’s Fiber Optic Infrastructure

June 9, 2022

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is performing a complete voice communications upgrade. Installation of the secure, resilient broadband fiber optic network will provide enhanced, seamless coverage throughout the Metrorail underground tunnel network.

The new 700 MHz interoperable, public safety-grade digital voice radio network will improve performance of WMATA’s voice and data communication systems, boosting connection speeds and enhancing the cost effectiveness of Metrorail and Metrobus operations.

The upgrade will also enhance safety, increasing dependability and interoperability for first responders.

Supporting a C3M-Aldridge Electric Joint Venture, Burns is providing designs and as-built documentation for the $165 million, 4-year project.  Design services will include:

  • Plans for installation and termination of new WAN cabling, drop locations, and radio coverage equipment throughout Metrorail tunnels.
  • Associated inside and outside plant infrastructure, including duct banks, cable trenches, and flyovers.
  • Systems integration and test planning.

The fiber-optic system overhaul is the latest in a series of systems-design projects performed at WMATA stations and along the Metrorail right-of-way. Additional Burns projects include:

  • Yellow Line steel liner and bridge rehabilitation: mechanical, electrical, and fire life-safety design, as well as WAN, cellular, and improvements for radio communications.
  • Potomac Yard Metrorail Station: wayside systems engineering, systems integration, and commissioning services.
  • Bethesda Metrorail Station: new vertical passenger mezzanine to connect the new Purple Line’s western terminus.

Photo courtesy of Phil Roeder.

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