Coffman Specialties, Inc., of San Diego has been awarded a $36.3-million contract to construct a rail spur and intermodal rail yard at the Mesquite Regional Landfill, where municipal solid waste will be received for disposal by way of California's first waste-by-rail project. The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County awarded the contract to Coffman Specialties, the lowest of eight bids received for the project that will include a rail spur, bridge and construction of the facilities where containerized trash will arrive by train for disposal at the regional landfill. The Mesquite Regional Landfill is located about five miles east of Glamis, Calif.
Work is expected to begin in the spring and take about 18
months to complete.
"Awarding the contract for the MRL rail spur and intermodal
facility is a major milestone in the development of the waste-by-rail system
that will provide an innovative, environmentally responsible, regional solid
waste disposal solution," said Janet Coke, manager of the Sanitation Districts
waste-by-rail project. "The enormity of the project also will bring numerous
construction jobs to the Imperial Valley."
The MRL project calls for the construction of a 100-acre
intermodal facility, similar to what is commonly seen at seaports where
containers are moved by crane from ships onto tractor-trailer trucks for
delivery. A similar process will move containerized MSW from rail cars onto
trucks for disposal in the landfill. Additionally, the infrastructure project
requires construction of a 4.5 mile rail spur to connect with the Union Pacific
main line about one mile northwest near Glamis. A bridge to span storm water
control channels on the landfill property also will be built.
The Sanitation Districts went out to bid on the project in
July after signing an agreement with Union Pacific that spells out the terms
and conditions for transporting up to two unit trains a day, each carrying
4,000 tons of waste, to the Mesquite Regional Landfill.
At the same time, construction will be under way on the
Puente Hills Intermodal Facility, where sorted trash will be loaded onto trains
for the 200-mile trip to the Mesquite Regional Landfill. The access road
construction has begun for an intermodal project that is estimated to cost $100
million. The project is expected to be completed in early 2012.
The Mesquite Regional Landfill was fully built in 2008. The
state-of-the art landfill includes a road and drainage system, a water
distribution system and the modular offices to house landfill staff. The first
cell of the landfill has been lined with a five-foot-thick multi-layer system
that exceeds state, federal and local standards.
To get the Mesquite Regional Landfill into operation before
the rail infrastructure is completed and to provide greater flexibility in its
early years of operation, the Sanitation District has proposed that Imperial
County modify the permit governing the facility. The Sanitation District has
requested that Imperial County allow the trucking of a limited amount of waste
to the landfill. The proposed permit modification seeks permission to truck up
to 4,000 tons per day of waste a day, 1/5th of what the landfill is permitted
to receive. A draft environmental impact report, with air and traffic studies
of the proposal, is expected to be released soon.
The Mesquite Regional Landfill is permitted to receive up to
20,000 tons per day of municipal solid waste, after it has been sorted to
remove recyclables and hazardous waste. Up to 1,000 tons per day of the waste
that the landfill receives is reserved for Imperial County waste. At peak
operation, the Mesquite Regional Landfill is expected to employee about 250
people and to pay Imperial County fees of about $17 million a year.