Design/Build for Railroad Repairs, United States Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District
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This design/build project for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Norfolk District, at Fort Eustis in Virginia replaced 1760 feet of the railroad, including two timber bridges that spanned tidal wetlands.

Newly constructed trestles and rail were designed and constructed to AREMA standards with Cooper E-60 load rating. As part of the project, access to the wetlands was restricted.

Geosyntec’s Scope of Services

Geosyntec was the project engineer of record for this $12M coastal infrastructure project. The Geosyntec team proposed a value engineering design to reduce wetland impacts, restore natural tidal wetland flow and provide a resilient, coastal design with structural upgrades. Geosyntec’s design called for 124 steel pipe piles to replace 594 creosote-treated wood piles per USACE’s original design. Typically, 22.5-foot long precast concrete beams were designed; supported on steel pier caps welded onto the 16-inch diameter pipe piles. One of the bridges included 24 spans, for a total length of 535 feet on tangent alignment. The second bridge consisted of 20 spans, for a total length of 430 feet on curved alignment. Conventional railroad track with timber ties on ballast completed the design. The design provided a project cost and schedule benefit with the improved long-term performance of the bridges and track.

The Geosyntec team prepared design drawings and specifications and provided construction quality control and project management. Our practitioners developed and maintained the project schedule, and prepared project design submittals. In addition, Geosyntec authored multiple preconstruction submittals including the environmental management plan, stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP), solid waste plan, and dirt/dust control plan. Geosyntec inspected stormwater and erosion/sediment control devices under federal and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality requirements and in accordance with the SWPPP.

Notable Accomplishments

Collaboration between our water and natural resources team in Oakbrook and our geotechnical engineering team in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Kennesaw resulted in an exceptional project. The Geosyntec team design reduced the number of pipe piles necessary in protected coastal wetlands. The footprints of the trestles and abutments were also reduced, restoring 2000 square feet of wetland. Contaminated soils were remediated. Tidal water flows and habitats were improved due to improvements to the designs of the abutments and bridges. Rail, plates, spikes and ties were recycled.

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Project Summary

  • Location: Fort Eustis, Virginia
  • Client: USACE Norfolk District/Subcontractor to Burgess Construction
  • Project Practice Areas: Civil Sites, Coastal & Waterfront
  • Services Provided: Design/Build; Engineer of Record; Coastal Design; Construction Quality Control; Project Management