The bridges -- which are two separate but interconnected structures -- are part of a Benton County project to realign and widen Webber Canyon Road.
Numerous signal, track,
structural and maintenance workers from the railway were on site May 19
building the bridges, said Gus Melonas, BNSF spokesman. Extensive preparation was
done -- including having an engineering plan in place and hauling building
materials to the site -- so construction could happen quickly and safely, he
The county is planning to realign Webber Canyon Road so the roadway will be a straight shot from First Avenue under Interstate 82.
The railroad bridges are
being paid for with a $2-million federal earmark, and the $1-million road
project will be covered by a federal stimulus grant, said Bryan Thorp, Benton
County project engineer.
The county hired the railroad to do the bridge work.
The new railroad bridges will replace the grade crossing at the site. The bridges are on BNSF's Stampede Pass route, which connects the Tri-Cities to Western Washington. The area averages six-to-eight trains a day, although the economic downturn has reduced traffic, Melonas said.
Train traffic was rerouted through the Columbia River Gorge during the bridge construction, Melonas said.