Client: BNSF Railway Company
Location: West Alton, MO
This railroad bridge project consisted of replacing the north approach spans of BNSF Railway’s Bellefontaine Bridge over the Missouri River. This work included extensive clearing and grading north and south of the abutments for track realignment. The foundations for the new approach structure were a composite system of drilled shafts and micropiles. Due to their large size, seven of the piers utilized mass concrete pouring methods. The steel deck plate girders were installed on a jacking and sliding system supported on temporary columns. The total approach span length was 875’ consisting of approximately 800’ of steel deck plate girders, while the remaining length consisted of precast concrete box girders. In addition to the approach replacement, two river piers were modified with a reinforced concrete and post-tensioned rod system, allowing for jacking of the truss spans supported by the piers and replacement of the expansion bearings.
Critical to the flow of the project, the track was closed to rail traffic and replaced in a 48-hour track closure window. During the track closure the existing steel superstructure and abutment was removed, the new steel deck plate girders were slid into place onto the new piers, and the installation of the precast box girder sections were completed and opened to train traffic in the allotted closure time.