NRC awards 2014 Safety, Field Employee and Rail Construction Projects of the Year

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) selected the winners of its 2014 Safety, Field Employee of the Year, Small Project of the Year and Large Project of the Year awards. The winners will be recognized at this year's NRC Conference, January 7-10, 2015, in Hollywood, Fla.


“In each category, [of the NRC/RT&S/Commercial Insurance Associates Safe Contractor Awards] there were multiple contestants with perfect scores,” the NRC stated. “This reflects very well on the participating contractors and speaks to the fact that the railroad contracting industry is safe and getting safer. Because of this great showing, this year the NRC will award the perfect-scoring contractors with a Platinum Award.”

Platinum Winners (score of 100 out of 100) include:
American Track Generations
Balfour Beatty Infrastructure
Herzog Contracting Corp.
Herzog Services
Herzog Technologies
Holland LP
Joseph B. Fay
Kelly-Hill Company
L.K. Comstock National Transit
Lone Star Railroad Contractors
PNR RailWorks
Ragnar Benson
RailWorks Track Systems
Rhinehart Railroad Contruction
Scott Bridge Company
Sharp and Fellows
Stacy & Witbeck
US Trackworks LLC

For a list of Gold and Silver winners please visit here.

Mike Spalding, track superintendent of Stacy and Witbeck has been selected as the 2014 NRC Field Employee of the Year. Mike’s career began with 15 years at BNSF as a track laborer, progressing through the roles of machine operator, foreman, track inspector and assistant road master. He joined Stacy and Witbeck eight years ago and has more than 32 years of construction and maintenance experience on commuter rail, light rail, streetcar and freight railroads throughout the western United States. His experience includes ballasted, embedded, direct fixation and special track work construction and all associated civil elements. Spalding has significant experience working in an active railroad environment and has served as the track superintendent on many projects. He has worked on a vast array of projects, including: First Hill Streetcar, city of Seattle; West Corridor LRT Extension, Denver Regional Transit District; Washington County Commuter Rail Project, Tri-Met; I-205 LRT Extension, Tri-Met; South Lake Union Streetcar Project, city of Seattle and the C-810 and C-700 Projects, Sound Transit. Spalding’s innovation skills and commitment to safety is exemplified by his role in the development of a hydraulic rail beam that moves rail more safely than traditional means. His performance, commitment to the industry and character make him the type of leader the NRC is trying to recognize with this award.

This year, the NRC has split the Rail Construction Project of the Year Award into two awards: the Small Project of the Year Award (contract under $10 million) and the Large Project of the Year Award (contract more than $10 million). Both awards honor innovation, expertise and quality project management applied towards the successful execution of a rail construction project by an NRC member company in 2014.

The Small Project of the Year award goes to the Crawfordsville Bridge Repair by Joseph B. Fay Company. The Crawfordsville Bridge Repair rehabilitated a bridge for CSX that spanned a creek in rural Indiana. Due to its location, the project necessitated close coordination between Joseph B. Fay, CSX and private landholders to negotiate access to the project site. Fay utilized a combination of a short temporary causeway and sectional barges to gain access to the in-stream piers and north abutment to perform the work. Despite delays due to river and weather challenges, Fay was able to complete the project for the original contract amount by utilizing its own fleet of barges and other Fay-owned equipment. Weekly meetings with CSX were held to assure that all of their project goals, including cost control and efficient delivery, were met. Fay put in 9,800 man hours without any lost time or recordable incident. This record of safety success was attributable to daily safety briefings, training all employees in job specific hazards, such as working from barges and having a job specific safety plan.

The Large Project of the Year award goes to the Port of Los Angeles Berth 200 Rail Yard by Herzog Contracting Corp. Herzog managed the relocation of the existing Pier A Rail Yard to the Berth 200 site in order to accommodate the expansion of the TraPac terminal. This project required strong communication between the Port of Los Angeles and Herzog to address numerous subsurface interferences including unknown structures, unidentified utilities, contaminated soil, contaminated groundwater, underground tanks, foundations and various other conflicts. Herzog completed the project on schedule and within budget, without any safety incidents, by using a dynamic tracking system of the project components and costs that allowed the team to make informed decisions quickly. This project was a success for Herzog, as well as the local community, with about a quarter of project needs supplied by local material suppliers, fabricators and subcontractors.


Categories: Bridge/Retaining Walls/Tunnels, ON Track Maintenance, Safety/Training, Yards & Terminals