Railroad Crossings at Berwick Bay

by Thomas E. Petermann, (M.ASCE), Constr. Engr.; Massman Constr. Co., Kansas City, MO,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 1, Pg. 93-113

Document Type: Journal Paper


Modifications are made to a main-line single track railroad draw bridge across a much used wateway connecting the industrial Gulf Coast with the areas served by the Mississippi River. The outmoded draw bridge was a deterrent to the safe passage of vessels using this waterway. Two existing trusses near the center of the crossing are replaced by a 370-ft (113-m) vertical lift span to provide better alignment and greater width to the navigation channel through the bridge. The remains of an earlier bridge near this site required the extraction of old timber pile tips from a water depth of 70 ft (21 m). Numerous collisions to the structure by tows hampered the new construction and emphasized the need for improvements made to the structure. The change-out of the existing spans with the new span interrupted rail traffic for only 14 hrs. The history and many changes over the period of service of this railroad crossing are examined

Subject Headings: Railroad grade crossings | Bays | Railroad bridges | Bascule bridges | Railroad tracks | Industries | Gulfs | Coastal environment | Mississippi River

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