Thursday, September 21, 2017

HDR to lead design efforts of Class 1 rail bridge over Mississippi

Written by 

HDR has been awarded a contract to lead the final design of a Class 1 fixed, high bridge near Clinton, Iowa.


HDR says the new design will replace an 108-year-old swing bridge that is roughly 7,000 feet and will provide continuous rail passage across the river while simultaneously accommodating barge traffic. It will support two mainline tracks and an access road that can be converted to a third main line if future capacity warrants. Currently, the existing movable bridge, completed in 1909, does not allow for rail and river traffic to pass simultaneously. Its open/close design allows only one or the other to pass at a time.

HDR says it will employ a resilient design and utilize uniform structural elements to exceed standards set forth by the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association.

"We're keeping the details simple and repetitive so if something would need to be replaced down the road, it's an easy fix," HDR Senior Rail Bridge Project Manager Jeff Teig said.

Additional design features include walkways between beams for regular inspection and maintenance.

Located between rural regions of Iowa and Illinois, the bridge links the critical North American freight hub in Chicago with points west.

"The constraints of a century-old, movable bridge at this critical crossing will be a thing of the past," HDR Freight Rail Director Bill Hjelholt said. "We're proud to have been selected to lead design of a replacement bridge — especially one with the resilient features needed to protect operations, ensure reliability and accommodate growth."