The project was completed in late 2013 and increased the vertical clearance of a 130-year-old tunnel running through Pittsburgh's SouthSide Works, a mixed-use residential and commercial development. CSX worked closely with public officials, local businesses and residents to minimize noise and disruption during construction. Upon completion of the tunnel work, CSX restored trees and plantings and invested in landscaping improvements, which left the overlying Tunnel Park a more usable recreational space.
"The J&L Tunnel Project is a great example of CSX's commitment to invest in infrastructure that supports American businesses and growth while respecting the communities in which we operate," said Randy Cheetham, regional vice president, CSX. "We have a long history in the Pittsburgh community and are proud to invest here to keep the Pittsburgh region moving for many years to come."
The J&L Tunnel was constructed in the 1880s as part of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad line to allow trains beneath the former J&L Steel Company's Pittsburgh Works Southside facility. Today, the tunnel is an important component of CSX's freight rail infrastructure and a critical transportation link for the Pittsburgh regional economy.
The ESWP Project of the Year Award aims to advance the professions of engineering, architecture and applied sciences through its activities and commitment to public service, recognizing four exemplary projects across the state each year. The J&L Tunnel Project earned the award in the commercial category for its safety, cost-effectiveness and ability to deliver long-term economic benefits to the local community. The Diamond Awards for Engineering Excellence from the ACEC/PA celebrates the achievements of member firms that have demonstrated innovation, a commitment to sustainable practices, economic value and superior client service.