Perform demolition and construction of a 168-foot railroad bridge in 12 hours.
Substantial planning, advance site work, pre-staging and phase overlapping were critical to meeting this challenging schedule.
Hulcher’s railroad training and experience allowed its crews to work seamlessly with railroad personnel, which was critical for meeting the deadline.
The railroad needed to have a 168-foot bridge demolished and reconstructed. Typically this process would render the bridge and stretch of track unusable for two to three days.
Hulcher recommended a new approach to railroad bridge demolition and construction that, if it worked, would see the job completed in a single 12-hour window. This would return the stretch of track to full operation in less than half the normally allotted time.
Meeting this challenge required substantial preparations. Hulcher crews first cleared trees and brush to create a road and large working area. They then laid out a timber mat pad for the crane to work from, pre-staged the bridge girders and crane and mobilized in the equipment for the job.
As the 12-hour window began, crews rigged a series of cables and pulleys on the bridge, attached to two sidebooms and a trackloader. Excavators strategically broke the pilings under the bridge, weakening the old structure so the sidebooms and trackloader could pull the entire bridge over. The excavators, trackloader and a dozer then removed the bridge debris. Demolition was completed in only two hours.
Construction began at one end of the bridge as the clearing continued at the other. As the crane positioned each concrete girder, two sidebooms delivered the next girder to be placed. Overlapping the girders’ delivery and placement with sitework dramatically compressed the schedule. After the first girders had been installed, the railroad’s crane began installing track panel, further compressing the schedule.
In the days following the bridge's construction, Hulcher’s excavators and grapple truck loaded the old bridge debris into gondola cars to clean the work area and finish the project.
Hulcher’s part of the bridge construction was complete in less than six hours. This allowed the railroad to complete installation of the final track panels and ballast during the 12-hour window. Hulcher’s new approach to replacing the bridge worked flawlessly, and their professional crew members were able to work seamlessly with the railroad’s crews to complete this challenging project smoothly and efficiently.
The railroad was extremely happy with the speed and quality of Hulcher’s work and plans to have Hulcher perform several more railroad bridge demolition and construction projects in this manner.