Wickford Junction Station Opens with Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
The ground breaking took place in August 2010 and was scheduled for completion in June 2012. Today the station is ready ahead of schedule and under budget. Train whistles will begin to blow at the Wickford Junction Station after the ribbon cutting ceremony on April 23, 2012 with the ceremonial train departing at 10:15am.
The precast concrete station was designed to resemble a local red brick style 1880 millwork building. It conceals the 1,100 parking spaces while keeping the areas charm alive. The station boasts energy efficient lighting, a coffee shop, indoor waiting area, restrooms and charging stations for hybrid cars. The 848 foot platform has seating and covered areas to keep commuters out of bad weather.
The station offers 20 trips a day to Warwick T.F. Green, Providence and Boston. It will ease traffic on local Route 4 and I-95 corridor. This intermodal facility comes at tough time for spending and a great relief for commuters spending over $4.00 a gallon for gas.
On Time and Within Budget
The first proposal for Rhode Island’s new Wickford Station was not the chosen one, but it was the one that ignited a conversation that would lead to redesigning the train station and parking garage to resemble an 1880’s millwork building. The design/build team had to rethink the project and blend the old world charm of New England with a new transportation infrastructure.
Delivering the “Old World” Tradition
In preparation for the new design photos were taken of existing millwork buildings and used as reference for the new proposal. This alternate proposal would be exactly what they were looking for and it would also stay within the original budget.
The precast wall panels would use thin brick inlays with design elements that emulate limestone accents. Each precast concrete panel breaths “old world tradition,” while maintaining precast concrete’s inherent design flexibility, efficient erection and reduced long term maintenance.
Design/Build Offers Solutions
“Knowledge of the system is a must” according to Gary Glines, AIA, LEED AP, of Walker Parking Consultants, Boston, MA, the projects architect. Glines gives credit for this alternate design working to the design/build team which included the precaster, Blakeslee Prestress, Inc., Branford CT. In one instance an issue with the buildings corners came up and was resolved by the team when they decided to eliminate the thin brick corners using instead exterior perimeter precast column corners that simulate limestone. This modification would keep the panel widths consistent and expedite production. The result is a magnificent façade that keeps the character of the millwork building.
Blakeslee manufactured 622 precast concrete pieces including: columns, double tees, girders, sheer walls, spandrels, stairs, wall columns and the thin brick wall panels. These precast concrete pieces were being cast while work on the foundation was being completed. Blakeslee erected approximately 25 pieces a day and most require little or no additional finishing saving both time and money.
On Time and Into the Future
Even with the change in design, the Wickford Station is on schedule and soon commuters will be on board with the 1,000 parking spaces available to commuters and an additional 100 parking spaces available to the adjacent mixed-use retail plaza. Thinking of future possibilities now allows this precast concrete structure to be ready for the future, and two more levels of parking can be easily added when needed.
The Wickford Station is a tribute to the history of the area that embraces the modern necessity of a parking garage, and train station with a vital link to Boston and soon to the T.F. Green Airport. The Wickford Station will be an asset to the community and an economic boost for years to come.
Wickford Junction Parking Garage
Structural Precast Elements:
• 320 Double Tees
• 19 Girders
• 27 Columns
• 33 Shear Walls
• 48 Wall Columns
• 74 Spandrels
• 12 Stairs
• 43 Solid Slabs
• 86 Wall Panels