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V-Shaped Precast Panels to Clad MiamiCentral Train Station

Kissimmee, FL

Gate Precast is providing design-assist for a new express inter-city rail train station currently under construction in Miami. The six-block-long station will be clad in V-shaped precast panels.V-Shaped Precast Panels to Clad MiamiCentral High Speed Train Station (SOM Architecture)

Gate Precast is nearing completion of about 600 V-shaped precast panels for the new MiamiCentral express rail train station, after working closely with the project team in a design-assist capacity for several months. Delivery of the precast from Gate's Kissimmee, Fla., plant is expected to begin next spring. (Rendering: SOM Architecture)

The MiamiCentral station is one of three to be built by Brightline for its new privately-funded express intercity passenger rail network that will connect south and central Florida. Designed by SOM Architecture of New York and constructed by Suffolk Construction Co. of Miami, the privately owned, operated and financed transportation project is expected to begin service in 2017.

John Planz, Suffolk Construction Co. vice president, said the MiamiCentral train station is located at the southernmost end of the express inter-city system. "The station, which covers a little more than six city blocks, was designed as a bridge to accommodate a 1,000-foot train and not block cross streets," Planz said. While the precast will appear to support the platform, in reality it will serve as cladding for an interior structure steel frame.

Bruce Bartscher, plant manager at Gate's Kissimmee plant, said BIM modeling and multiple mockups were necessary to ensure that the precast components would fit together upon arrival at the site. "We're completely encapsulating this steel with precast," Bartscher said. "The difficulty for Gate was making sure that all of the jointing and panelization would fit together." The V sections are as large as 7 feet wide by 5.5 feet deep by 36 feet tall.

Gate's early involvement was essential to the project's success. "We frequently met with the design team, either on site or virtually, to discuss various areas of concern, what needed to be done, and how we were going to make it work," Bartscher said. Throughout the process, Gate leaned heavily upon its 10-man design team.

Suffolk has additional contracts with Brightline to build a 12-story office tower (designated as 2 MiamiCentral) and two apartment buildings - all to be built as part of the overall structure. Gate will provide the precast for the office building, consisting of column covers and spandrel banding, beginning next year.