BNSF to Replace Burlington Bridge Approach Spans Construction of Lift Span Begins This Summer

FORT WORTH — BNSF Railway Company will begin work this month on replacing seven approach spans on the Mississippi River bridge at Burlington, Iowa.

Construction of the new approaches will complement a separate construction project that began last year to replace the bridge’s swing span with a new lift span over the navigation channel.

Construction of the replacement approach spans will use new reinforced concrete foundations with 250-foot steel bridge spans. When combined with the replacement of the movable span over the navigation channel, the entire bridge will have been rebuilt to 21st century engineering standards.

“The Burlington Bridge is a vital link in our nation’s transportation infrastructure. The new approaches will improve the Bridge’s overall rail capacity for freight and passenger movement,” said David Freeman, vice president, Engineering, BNSF. “Together with the new lift span, these approaches will mean an entirely new bridge that will benefit Iowa and Illinois, as well as customers and passengers all along the BNSF Chicago to Denver corridor.”

BNSF decided to proceed with replacement of the approach spans to take advantage of an economically favorable construction environment. Walsh Construction of Chicago will be the prime contractor on the approach span project. The new approaches are scheduled to be complete by December 2011.