New Bridge Helps Eliminate Delays for Freight and Passenger Trains between St. Louis and Jefferson City

Published on : Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Union-Pacific (1)Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo, along with representatives of the Missouri Department of Transportation, Union Pacific Railroad, Amtrak and contractor OCCI, Inc. today officially opened a new $28 million 1,200-foot railroad bridge across the Osage River – ahead of schedule and under budget. The new bridge adds capacity and targets continued improvement of on-time performance for freight trains and the Amtrak® Missouri River Runner trains between Kansas City and St. Louis, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).

The new bridge, located just east of Jefferson City in Osage City, Mo., removes a major bottleneck that was caused when two tracks would funnel to one to cross the Osage River on a single-track railroad bridge, and then connect back to a double main line track. With the completion of the railroad bridge over the Osage River, the rail corridor between St. Louis and Jefferson City now consists entirely of two main line tracks.

“This new railroad bridge is yet another strategic investment in our rail infrastructure that will allow for higher performing passenger rail – while also laying a foundation to invest in faster, more frequent and even more reliable service,” said Administrator Szabo. “It also advances the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative – a vision Missouri shares with eight other states to connect the Midwest’s 40 largest cities with high-performance passenger rail.”

“The project eliminates the last bottleneck on the eastern portion of our St. Louis to Kansas City corridor which will benefit those riding the Missouri River Runner trains as well as Union Pacific customers,” said Donna Kush, Union Pacific vice president – Public Affairs, Northern Region. “The Missouri Department of Transportation has been a great partner. We look forward to exploring additional opportunities with them that benefit the public and our customers, allowing us to haul America’s goods by the most environmentally friendly mode of ground transportation.”

“We’re pleased to complete this new bridge ahead of schedule and under budget,” said MoDOT Director Dave Nichols. “This project proves that working together, we can deliver needed transportation projects that create jobs, improve safety and foster economic growth. Missourians have told us they want more transportation options, and better connectivity between our different modes of transportation. With limited transportation funding, however, difficult choices will need to be made if we are to be able to deliver projects like this one in the future.”

“Our partnership with the state of Missouri dates back to 1979 and is stronger than ever, with ridership growing and good on-time performance,” said Derrick James, Director, Amtrak Government Affairs. “We’ll sit down with MoDOT and Union Pacific and look at more ways to further improve the Missouri River Runner service with the new bridge now open over the Osage River.”

MoDOT commissioned a study by the University of Missouri to determine where rail line capacity enhancements should be made to improve train velocity. The Mizzou study helped MoDOT and Union Pacific’s engineering and network planning groups make solid choices where capacity projects should be considered across the 275-mile rail corridor.

The new bridge enables all trains that use the corridor to operate more efficiently. According to MoDOT, 90 percent of the Missouri River Runner trains arrived on-time or ahead of schedule in fiscal year 2013. These same passenger trains were operating an average of 64 percent on-time in 2008. Subsequently, ridership has increased for six consecutive years to nearly 200,000 passengers.

MoDOT received a multimillion dollar award under the Recovery Act, which funded a majority of this project. Union Pacific provided the remainder of the project cost. The bridge was constructed by OCCI, Inc., from Fulton, Mo. These and other improvements, directly linked to capital investments made by Union Pacific, the Missouri General Assembly and the federal government, continue to add capacity, improve on-time performance and increase the efficient movement of goods along the corridor.

Source:- Union Pacific


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