Brightline High-Speed Rail (Formally All Aboard Florida)
Brightline is a privately run inter-city rail route between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida. Brightline began operating over its current route in January 2018 and the company is currently building an extension to the Orlando International Airport which is expected to enter service in 2022.
As of August 2020, it was the only privately owned and operated intercity passenger railroad in the United States. The line was initially in development starting in March 2012 as "All Aboard Florida" (AAF) by Florida East Coast Industries, a Florida real estate developer owned by Fortress Investment Group. In 2012, Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) announced plans to operate passenger rail service between Miami and Orlando. The construction was projected at the time to be $1.5 billion.
Construction of Phase I rail alignment began in November 2014 on improvements to tracks and bridges owned by the Florida East Coast Railway (FECR). In October 2014, work on the Fort Lauderdale station began with the demolition of existing buildings on the site. A groundbreaking ceremony for the West Palm Beach station was held in November 2014. During Phase I All Aboard Florida secured leasing of easement rights alongside the Beachline from the Central Florida Expressway Authority for $1.4 million in December 2015. Phase I Construction was completed in 2016.
Construction work on Phase II, between West Palm Beach and Orlando, officially began in June 2019, with a groundbreaking ceremony at Orlando International Airport. The rail alignment and bridge work on the East West Zone 3 Section from Orlando to Cocoa began in October 2019. Four additional portions of rail within the corridor are being constructed simultaneously by Hubbard Construction Company, Wharton-Smith Inc., The Middlesex Corporation, and HSR Constructors. These five contractors are responsible for the development of 170 miles of new track into the completed state-of-the-art intermodal facility located in the new South Terminal at the Orlando International Airport (MCO).
UES holds multiple contracts valued at over $4.5M and we provided over $2.5M in services to our client, Granite Construction, to date, with services ongoing through 2022. UES' Contractor Quality Control services include performing construction materials testing and sampling, inspection services, and site management for the rail alignment utilizing the following certifications and professional licensure: CTQP Level I/II Technician/Inspector, CTQP Asphalt Paving Inspector, Level I/II, Welding Inspector, Non-Destructive Testing Inspector (UT/MT/PT), and ACI Level I Concrete and ACI Level II Concrete Transportation.
The project scope for the Orlando to Cocoa section with Granite construction consists of 35 miles of new rail alignment. The project includes 18 new rail bridges, a conveyor system over SR 528 for embankment backfill, the arch tunnel under I-95, and the installation of two unique jack-driven box tunnel for the Brightline Trains route being constructed at Goldenrod Road in Orlando and under SR 528 in Cocoa. The pre-cast, box-jack system is only the third of its kind used in the U.S. and reduces construction time from nearly a year to just a few weeks.