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BNSF bags stimulus funds for major Iowa bridge reconstruction


BNSF Railway Co. will receive $28.7 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars to help fund upgrades to a Mississippi River-crossing bridge in Burlington, Iowa, according to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Located along the Class I’s Chicago-to-Denver mainline, the bridge was built in 1868 and has reached its serviceable life. The $168 million project calls for replacing the bridge’s 362-foot swing span with a 300-foot vertical lift. To be completed in two phases, the project also includes upgrades to the remainder of the 2,000-foot structure.

“Repairing and rebuilding the Burlington Northern Bridge is so much more than an infrastructure project, it means maintaining rail traffic and avoiding a possible block in barge traffic on the Mississippi while creating good construction jobs that are badly needed in southeast Iowa,” said Harkin in a prepared statement.

The stimulus act includes a total of $142 million for bridge repairs nationwide. Harkin also helped secure $26 million for the BNSF bridge through the Truman Hobbs Coast Guard Program, which funds the replacement of portions of bridges that are considered a hazard to navigation.

Design work for the project has been completed. Construction is expected to start in 2010 and conclude in third-quarter 2011.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/21/2009