Birdwood / Front road viaduct
lincoln County, nebraska
North Platte is home to Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard, one of the busiest rail-yards in the United States. Approximately 120-140 fully loaded trains pass through the area each day and local business and community are intertwined heavily with the railroad. Over the years, as train traffic increased, the need for an unimpeded route of travel for passenger vehicles had become a major concern of the area. A joint effort between Union Pacific, Lincoln County, and the N.D.O.T. lead to the proposal to build a viaduct directly west of Bailey Yard, where all the spur rails converge and leave town. The location was chosen as it was advantageous to all parties involved, and only one bridge would need to be constructed to bypass the entirety of the rail system.
The final structure was a 460-foot long concrete girder bridge that was built on top of two massive mechanically stabilized earth walls (MSE) to help keep the structure length to a minimum, while meeting Union Pacific minimum safety standards for horizontal clearance above the tracks. The final height of the structure also provides the opportunity for additional rail lines to be built underneath, while still within allowable safety standards.
Additionally, a new turning lane was added to U.S. Highway 30, a new concrete box culvert was designed and built, and approximately 1.25 miles of new pavement was also completed as part of this massive project.
Mainelli Wagner was contracted to provide construction and materials management oversight, along with Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) design and monitoring.
What made the building of this structure unique was complying with railroad safety standards, and minimum vertical clearances, all while the rail was still seeing heavy activity throughout the the process. Working hand in hand with Union Pacific, construction was kept moving at an optimal pace, while never compromising the safety of the railroad or any construction crew onsite.