Bridge magic

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.

2 thoughts on “Bridge magic

  1. Taylor

    Pretty cool! Now if only Capital Metro could fix the MetroRail trains which keep getting cancelled or delayed (see CapMetroRail twitter feed). Recently the 987 Express bus has been faster and more reliable, even when factoring in traffic on Mopac.

    It is hard to convince people to ride when the train doesn’t even show up, like it did on Friday afternoon. To make matters worse, once I board the Rail Connector bus to MLK Station I am no longer able to ride one of the express routes if a MetroRail interruption occurs without riding the rail connector bus back to the Capitol.

  2. Adam

    Taylor- I’m sorry we let you down on Friday afternoon. A mechanical issue on a train at the Downtown Station affected two northbound trips. Luckily, this is the exception, not the norm. During the first six months of service, trains have generally operated within three minutes of their scheduled times. One of the customer service performance indicators we track closely for all services is On Time Performance (OTP). In August, the MetroRail OTP was 98.54%.

    I realize that statistics don’t really make any difference if you happen to be waiting for the train (or bus or MetroAccess vehicle) that happens to be delayed. But the point is, we set high goals for OTP for all services, and we take this matter very seriously so that you have the best possible experience. And if you don’t have a good experience, we’re going to do what we can to make sure that you do the next time.

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