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November 11, 2009 Published in Top Stories, Traffic & Transportation

CSX Begins Bridge Replacement In Eisenhower Valley

Staff report

Railroad bridge replacement map. (Courtesy Photo)

Railroad bridge replacement map. (Courtesy Photo)

CSX has begun the replacement of a railroad bridge near Cameron Run regional Park. Last week, CSX officials met with affected neighborhood residents to detail the project. Set for completion next spring,   the bridge will be made from two million pounds of steel and will have more than 12,000 bolts. The bridge is the link between seven miles of new “mainline” beginning at the Franconia-Springfield Virginia Railway Express station in Fairfax County and continuing to Alexandria’s Union Station.

The bridge is being replaced by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, CSX Transportation, VRE and Amtrak. The project involves removing the existing single-track railroad bridge over Norfolk Southern tracks adjacent to Cameron Run and replacing it with a new double-track railroad bridge. The current bridge, built in 1904, only has one track, and the additional track is needed to facilitate more frequent and reliable Amtrak and VRE service.

The new bridge will be assembled on the construction site adjacent to the existing bridge, and once complete, the existing bridge will be removed and the new bridge will literally be “rolled” into place during a three-day track outage.

The project has been broken into five major work phases. Preparation for the project began on October 15, 2009, and replacing the bridge and follow-up work will last through spring, 2010.

“¢ Mobilization: This phase began on October 15, 2009, and lasted for a month. Work included preparation of the project area, including site clearing, crane delivery and assembly and material delivery.

“¢ Pre Change-out: This phase is scheduled to last up to four months and will likely have the greatest impact on neighboring communities. Work includes delivery and assembly of the proposed bridge span and substructure (abutment and pier) construction. In order to build the new bridge, the contractor will construct a temporary steel structure on which the bridge will be assembled prior to the planned roll-in. Beginning in mid-November, the contractor will pile drive for a limited period. Pile driving will be limited to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“¢ Span Change-out: This is the most significant component of the proposed work. This work is scheduled to be performed over a long weekend, and during that time the contractor will remove the existing bridge and roll the new bridge into place. This phase involves interruption to passenger and freight rail service and the project sponsors will coordinate with VRE and Amtrak to inform riders of the work.

“¢ Post Change-out: This phase may last up to two months and will involve ancillary work on the project site, including a slight raise of the adjacent single track bridge. Also, the new mainline track will be aligned with the new bridge.

.“¢ Demobilization: The final phase of construction is scheduled to last approximately two weeks. The contractor will remove construction materials, debris and equipment. The contractor will restore the site to its pre-construction condition to the satisfaction of the landowner.

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