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McMillen Jacobs Associates has an integrated transportation group to serve the needs of rail mass transit, highway, and railroad clients. We have experts in tunnel design and station design, with disciplines to support transportation projects such as structural engineering, geotechnical engineering and architecture, to provide responsive and comprehensive solutions to clients’ needs.


McMillen Jacobs Associates is experienced in all areas of tunneling required for highway projects, particularly large span tunnels and caverns through various ground conditions. Our extensive highway work includes design/bid/build and design/build (i.e., design+construct) projects. We provide expertise not only in design, but in construction methods and costs, as well as program management and construction management. We have in-depth experience working on integrated engineering teams with owners and contractors, and understand the integration of space-proofing, roadway design, mechanical/electrical design, and ventilation/fire-life safety. Our highway tunnel experience spans the globe, with projects in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.

Freight Rail

McMillen Jacobs Associates has been providing engineering and construction services to the U.S. freight rail market for 25 years. Our projects range in size and complexity from small-rock fall mitigation projects to double-track expansion and clearance improvement programs.

Through the years, we’ve developed industry-recognized expertise in tunnel clearance, rock and soil embankment stability, drainage, deep foundation systems, stormwater control and retention, and retained cuts and fills. We have helped railroad clients efficiently move their projects from feasibility, design, environmental approval, permitting, and construction in all areas of the country.

Many of these projects successfully address the key challenges of implementing improvement on active rail corridors. Projects such as the Coos Bay Rail Link Tunnels Rehabilitation, Rock Shed #5 Stabilization, and Heartland Corridor Improvement helped us develop design solutions and construction techniques that allow work during live-track work windows with freight traffic moving through the construction site.

McMillen Jacobs Associates has provided permitting and planning, engineering, and construction services to Class I and II railroads, state departments of transportation, local municipalities, and regional short-line carriers. Our clients include:

  • BNSF, UPRR, CSX and Norfolk Southern Railroads
  • Washington State Department of Transportation, Idaho Transportation Department, Oregon Department of Transportation, and Caltrans
  • Montana Rail Link, Coos Bay Rail Link, Willamette and Pacific Railroad
  • Sound Transit, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Vancouver TransLink

Rail Mass Transit

McMillen Jacobs Associates has a long history of successfully designing and managing complex rail mass transit projects, dating back to the planning, design and construction of the BART and WMATA systems from the 1960s to 1980s. Our engineers and experts bring many partners and disciplines together to see your transit project to completion.

Our services cover everything from project planning and feasibility studies to final design, scheduling, cost estimating, and program/construction management. Our design services include conceptual, preliminary, and final design; station structural design and architectural management; tunnel and shaft design; settlement analysis and building protection; tunnel boring specification; station excavation support design; waterproofing and dewatering.

We’re experts at delivering efficient and cost-effective solutions. Signature projects include Sound Transit’s University Link and Northgate Link extensions, where we designed of both tunnels and stations through diverse neighborhoods in Seattle. For the stations in Seattle, we provided design leadership including management of architectural and M&E disciplines; planning of station entrances, permanent structural design of underground and elevated stations, parking structures and pedestrian bridges; and station shaft excavation support design and temporary bridge design to maintain surface streets.

Our rail mass transit projects address the specific concerns of major urban centers, such as the Tren Urbano – Río Piedras Contract, a design-build project in Puerto Rico, and SFMTA’s Central Subway for Phase 2 of the Third Street Light Rail, through the heart of downtown San Francisco. We’ve also worked on the Metro Gold Line Eastside LRT Extension in Los Angeles, successfully built through a commercial and residential district that required building protection against settlement.