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Union Pacific Railroad - Global III Facility planning & design

Serving as a consultant to Ragnar Benson Inc., Hanson and a joint-venture partner provided planning and design engineering for the design-build of Union Pacific Railroad’s Global III facility.  This facility, located in Rochelle, Ill., is instrumental in handling the growing rail-to-truck freight market in the Chicago area. The facility is on the former Chicago & North Western mainline and is located about 70 miles west of Chicago.

The Hanson team provided services including a topographic survey, geotechnical investigation, environmental investigation, hydraulic study, stormwater management, grading, paving, site utilities, track design, building design and permitting.

The design included developing a 750-acre greenfield site into an intermodal facility, which includes a storage yard; receiving and departure tracks; a switching yard; a ramp and unloading and parking area; and locomotive service and gate processing areas.

One of the geotechnical challenges associated with this project involved the large volume of fill that was placed over about one-half of the site in an aggressive construction schedule. In-situ soils and fill materials had high moisture contents, requiring the use of lime during placement and compaction of fill materials. A pipe pile-supported railroad bridge also was included in the project.

Environmental aspects included permitting for the Clean Water Act Section 404; NPDES stormwater discharge; industrial wastewater pretreatment and discharge; and fuel storage tanks. Hanson also prepared a stormwater pollution plan and conducted cultural resources surveys. Wetlands investigations resulted in minimal impact and no mitigation was required.

The project also included archaeological investigations, surveys and recovery of artifacts.

As a sustainable design element, the contractor used recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) in the new bituminous pavement, in accordance with Illinois Department of Transportation specifications.

Project Quick Facts


Union Pacific Railroad Company


Rochelle, IL

Date Completed:


Areas of Emphasis:

Multimodal Railway Stormwater Wastewater Wetlands & Environment

Services Provided:

LEED & Sustainable Design Electrical Engineering Impact Assessments Permitting Water, Stormwater & Wastewater Geotechnical Engineering Planning Mechanical Engineering Structural Engineering Surveying Transportation Engineering Water Resources Engineering


2004 Midwest Construction, Best of 2003 Awards - Transportation