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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

UP, Missouri DOT launch construction on Osage River bridge

Yesterday, state of Missouri, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak officials broke ground on a new railroad bridge over the Osage River in Osage, Mo.

The project is designed to eliminate one of the country’s worst rail bottlenecks, increase capacity, and reduce delays for Amtrak Missouri River Runner trains traveling between Kansas City and St. Louis, FRA officials said in a prepared statement. More than 60 trains operate along the 275-mile corridor daily.

Once the new 1,200-foot bridge is built by contractor OCCI Inc., the entire rail corridor between St. Louis and Jefferson City will feature two mainline tracks that will enable four Amtrak and 60-plus freight trains to pass through the area unimpeded each day, according to state and federal officials.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) commissioned a study by the University of Missouri to determine where rail-line capacity enhancements should be made in the state to improve train velocity. The study helped MoDOT and UP officials identify the need for a new bridge.

The $28 million project is being funded in part by a $22.6 million High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program grant. MoDOT received the multi-million-dollar award under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the bridge is the state's first rail infrastructure project to be awarded and begin construction under the act. UP will cover the remainder of project costs.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/30/2012