BNSF Railway – Renton, Wash., railroad bridges replacement

Project Summary

The BNSF Railway Co. selected Hanson and a joint-venture partner to provide civil and structural design as well as construction management services for four railroad bridges in Renton, Wash.  The project consisted of replacing one railroad bridge over the Cedar River and three railroad bridges over highways at Hardie Avenue, Rainier Avenue and Shattuck Avenue. The Hanson team also provided track design for continuity of rail service to adjacent industries during construction.   

For the Cedar River bridge, design challenges included using existing piers to support a new steel main span and concrete approach spans, providing adequate clearance for future projections of a 100-year flood, and widening the bridge to accommodate rail shipments of wide body fuselages to the Boeing Aircraft Co. in Renton, Wash.  Construction challenges included limited working room for cranes and equipment and environmental protection of the Cedar River during an active salmon spawn. The contractor devised a bridge launching system to overcome these challenges.

The Hardie Avenue, Rainier Avenue and Shattuck Avenue railroad bridges were added onto the project at the request of the city of Renton. The city funded fast-track construction of the three rail-over-highway bridges to allow for future roadway widening projects. By constructing these bridges concurrent with the Cedar River Bridge, the city was able to take advantage of a rare three-month track closure.

Hanson provided detailed planning and coordination with BNSF, the contractor and the city of Renton for traffic control and road closures during demolition and construction of the three rail-over-highway bridges. 

In total, Hanson designed the four railroad bridges in approximately four and a half months and provided construction management for completion of all four bridges between August 2007 and February 2008.

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