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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), 5th Street Station Rehabilitation

Burns led a complete overhaul to the subway station’s platforms, mezzanines, passageways and streetscape, producing a modern, multi-modal transit center for travelers arriving at the birthplace of America.

Burns served as the engineer of record, providing civil, structural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and special-systems engineering design. Sophisticated phasing and sequencing measures ensured continuity of station services, subway operations, and street-traffic activity. Thorough and highly accurate assessments guided comprehensive station repairs despite many unobservable conditions within the 113-year-old structure.

Project achievements included:

  • Performing adaptive, in situ remediation to repair concrete-encased structural steel members and transit-grade materials, including 40 columns, 200 feet of platform edges, and an entirely replaced 1,300-square-foot tunnel completed as part of a stairway reconstruction.
  • Designing resilient waterproofing strategies through hand excavation followed by tunnel-structure and stormwater-management upgrades.
  • Precisely controlling structural integrity through innovative shoring solutions within constrained spaces.
  • Accommodating architectural characteristics rarely found within a subway station through structural tactics such as widening tunnels and incorporating translucent pavers to introduce daylight and improve visibility.
  • Enhancing street-level safety with new glass headhouses, curb cuts and bumpouts.
  • Completing construction on schedule despite significant underground conflicts and COVID-19 restrictions.

Previous transit station improvements include projects for the Port Authority Transportation Corporation (PATCO) High-Speed Line and Amtrak Baltimore Penn Station.


Philadelphia, PA


Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

Learn more about Burns' railroad and transit solutions

Railroad and Transit

Key team members on project

Erica Antoine, PE

Railroad & Transit Project Manager