Port of Longview Approves Rail UpgradesWritten by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
On Jan. 25, Port of Longview commissioners unanimously approved a nearly $330,000 project to upgrade several rail tracks after a monthly assessment revealed that some of the track was undersized and needed more stable structures.
The rail upgrade is expected to cost $328,484 and will replace 1,975 feet of existing track, according to a local news report. The targeted tracks start at International Way and head west.
Commission agenda documents explain that the project will entail the removal of existing decaying wood ties and replace them with concrete rail ties, and replacing the rail with 136lb rail.
Materials for the project are expected to cost $158,455 to pay for industrial-grade tracks as well as the replacement of the existing wood ties.
Officials said the port inspects rail infrastructure on a regular basis and has been gradually replacing its older rail infrastructure. A similar project to upgrade a different track cost around $358,000 and was approved in May of 2022 after port officials stated that it would improve the railroad’s overall safety.
William Burton, the port’s director of facilities and engineering, told a local news outlet that the concrete ties will benefit the railroad because they last longer and require less upkeep over time.
“As a result of those inspections, we determine where we’ll be doing our maintenance and also where we see some rail that is old and functionally obsolete that we are going to replace,” Burton told commissioners on Jan. 25.
Other expenses include $42,845 for the standard 15% contingency rate, $41,559 for equipment, and $85,624 for labor. The funds will be drawn from the approved capital budget for 2023.