BNSF moves forward with plans to demolish rail bridge over Skagit River

Written by RT&S Staff
rail bridges
BNSF Railway

After months of speculation, BNSF has decided to move forward with plans of replacing the rail bridge over the Skagit River between Mount Vernon and Burlington in the state of Washington.

The Class 1 company will be constructing the new bridge starting in May 2022 and finishing in 2025. The new bridge will by 991 ft long and will consist of nine spans built of concrete and steel. The current bridge, which was erected in 1910, is just over 1,000 ft long and has 12 spans. The structure sits on wood piles. The new bridge will be placed 30 ft downstream of the existing one, and BNSF also will install 2,270 ft of track to realign the route with the new crossing.

BNSF says the bridge is a critical section of the rail line that provides freight and commuter service between Seattle and Canada, and also is part of the rail corridor that connects the West Coast to the rest of the U.S. The new bridge will be designed using the latest recommendations from the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association.

About 3,781 cu yd of sediment will be pulled from the river, and equipment will use two temporary trestles that will measure in at 900 ft by 40 ft. Access roads also will be constructed, and barges will be used for some equipment, like cranes.

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