The Ft. Lauderdale / Hollywood airport runway extension project in Broward County Florida is under way. FEC will be operating two- to 80-car unit trains every day, to and from the construction site as the existing runway is extended, widened and raised.
The FEC logistics solution starts with loading of the rail cars at the Medley quarries near Miami then railed directly to the airport site via FEC trains where the material is loaded onto Odebrecht Central JV (the general contractor) trucks at the job site, thereby avoiding public streets and highways.
In order to handle the material at the job site, a rail spur was needed. Construction started July 2, 2012, and the first unit train rolled into place on July 23, an achievement the FEC calls "a remarkable construction feat in such a short time." The FEC and its contractors, Gulfstream Engineering and Gonzales and Sons installed 8,000 feet of track with more than 3,000 steel ties, using lime stone and granite ballast, with 136-pound welded rail.
Jim Hertwig, president and CEO of FEC, said, "3.5 million tons of rock equates to over 375,000 truck loads and empties running back and forth on area highways between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. Our goal is to help alleviate congestion in that area. We invested in the track and the unit train operation in order to do our part to address congestion and reduce emissions during the airport runway construction."