The William W. Hay Award for Excellence presented at the AREMA 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition went to Union Pacific for the second year in a row for its recovery efforts at the Frazier River Landslide near Oakridge, Ore. Bill Van Trump, UP's senior assistant vice president engineering, and other officials accepted the award.
In January 2008, an estimated 2.3 million cubic yards of debris and 700 million board feet of timber cut loose from Coyote Mountain and slammed into UP's line at an estimated 60 mph. The slide scoured away 1,500 feet of track in one place and another 150 feet further down the mountain.
The track runs through Willamette National Forest land and the railroad had to work with nine separate agencies and obtain seven different permits to perform the work. UP moved enough dirt during the recovery effort to fill an area as long as a football field and as high as the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower).
AREMA, which has presented the award 11 times, received nine entries for the 2009 award, more than any other year.