BNSF Begins Construction on New Railway Bridge

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
image description
BNSF rendering of new railway bridge in Bismarck – Mandan
Photo: BNSF

BISMARCK, N.D. – BNSF will remove a 140 year old railway bridge and replace it with a new railway bridge that will last another one hundred years.

The Bismarck Tribune has reported that BNSF will begin the construction of a new railway bridge Wednesday. The rail bridge, located between Bismarck and Mandan in North Dakota, will cross over the Missouri River. The construction will impede traffic, according to DOT officials. The current rail bridge is 1,470 feet long and was built over one hundred forty years ago. The Coast Guard agreed with BNSF that the railway bridge needed to be rebuilt. 

BNSF has acquired the state and federal permits to complete the project with two of those permits currently challenged in court by The Friends of the Rail Bridge. The local nonprofit group wants to keep the original bridge and convert it into a pedestrian bridge at a cost of less than $7 million.

The proposed plan will cost around $64 million and includes the construction of a new bridge twenty feet upstream while getting rid of the old railway bridge. BNSF will start its work in Mandan on the exit ramp on Memorial Highway and I-194 South underpass. Construction will close a shoulder lane on the exit ramp and a lane on northbound I-194, leading to a 12-foot-wide restriction on the exit ramp.

While the new bridge will take roughly two or three years to complete, the plan is for the first phase of construction to last one month with as few traffic delays as possible. To help with this, there may be flaggers to help with traffic along with a reduced speed limit.

The new railway bridge from BNSF will be built to last over another hundred years with the ability to handle heavier rail cars. Along with reducing service outages for customers, the new bridge will allow rail cars to travel over the Missouri River safely.

Tags: , , , ,