Get ready to see an amazing transformation before your eyes. Here’s what the Gilleland Creek railroad bridge in Manor looked like in February 2010:
Here’s what it looks like today (actually in late August):
Amazing, huh? Don’t let the Lincoln Log look in the “before” photo fool you. We did everything necessary to maintain it in safe condition for our freight rail operations. But it had definitely reached the end of its useful life span. How old was it? Let me put it to you this way: I’ll be shocked if anyone reading this blog was alive when this 400-foot long bridge was first constructed (but comments from centenarians are always welcome).
This was the first of thirteen bridges we identified that will need replacement over the next several years. Our Board approved the Gilleland replacement in April, and construction wrapped up in late August, almost two months ahead of schedule (way to go, Jay Reese Contractors). The project cost about $1.4 million. The new bridge should be good for about 50 to 80 years, and we anticipate saving significantly on maintenance costs over the life of the bridge.
What’s really remarkable about this project is that the new bridge was built in place through the existing bridge, and we were able to continue running freight trains overnight.