work underway on a water-discharge structure we designed for poor soil conditions
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feasibility study to raise railroad tracks

feasibility study to raise railroad tracks
client
Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad
location
Devils Lake, North Dakota

design allows rail service to continue

Rising water threatened 15 miles of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) tracks and U.S. Highway 2 between Devils Lake and Churchs Ferry. When the lake reached its historic high level in 2011, the tracks were taken out of service several times, which also interrupted Amtrak service.

Barr analyzed the feasibility of raising the tracks on their current alignment or in conjunction with raises of U.S. Highway 2 using a joint embankment. After determining that raising the tracks was most cost effective, we developed preliminary designs to accommodate future lake level increases and conducted hydraulic analyses of bridges to determine the potential effect on upstream lakes. We also evaluated environmental permit requirements.

BNSF, Amtrak, and the State of North Dakota agreed to share the cost of track and bridge upgrades. Barr assisted the state with its application for a $10 million USDOT TIGER Grant, which was awarded in 2012 to cover its share of the work.