Braddock Road station finally loses its “hump”

Of the half-dozen stations needing reconstruction this summer, Braddock Road requires the most attention. Here, we share an update on the progress.

Back in April, Metro pushed back the final completion date of the Summer Platform Reconstruction Project to Sept. 8, in order to “address a longstanding design issue at Braddock Road Station.” That longstanding design issue is known as the “Braddock Hump,” a 200-foot long area at the platform’s southern end that was approximately 2 to 4 inches higher than the level of the train floor.

As of June 26, the historic hump, which had been untouched since it was unveiled back in 1983, was officially eliminated from the outdoor platform of Braddock Road station, making the site compliant with the standards in the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Prior to last week’s fix, the area created a hazard for those in wheelchairs, as well as exiting passengers, who were alerted to be careful via the voice-over in Metro’s various train cars. 

While the hump had existed without any repairs for 36 years, the cause of the issue was unknown until the months before the summer-long shutdown began. Kiewit, the contractor of the project, determined that three concrete support piers originally placed below the platform, which weigh hundreds of thousands of pounds, were simply built too tall when the platform initially opened.

Hydraulic jacks lift the 1.6 million-pound platform above its supportive concrete piers. (Photo courtesy of WMATA)

To completely remove the hump and make the platform equal, the construction team had to use hydraulic jacks to lift the 1.6-million-pound deck off the concrete piers, according to a recent press release from WMATA. While lifted, the construction crews were able to adjust the piers, lowering the platform by 4 inches total to the correct height.

In addition to fixing the hump, the team of builders has poured concrete along 60% of the platform, making it possible to start placing new granite along the platform edges and continue with other minor design details, such as the installation of new skylights.

This piece is a part of our Summer Platform Improvement Project coverage. We will continue to update and inform the community about the project throughout the summer. See all coverage here.

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