Project Description

The Nisqually River near Elbe, WA shifted course in the spring of 2006 and destroyed the embankments at each end of Tacoma Rail’s three steel span trestle over the river. The owner, City of Tacoma, received a grant from Federal Emergency Management Agency to supplement their dedicated funds and hired Exeltech Engineers to design a replacement.

The construction contract was awarded to MJ Hughes Construction on May 16, 2009, with the regulated in-water work window expiring on September 31, 2009. This required careful management by MJ Hughes to complete the required submittals and construction along with a significant amount of additional work identified in the time given. To exacerbate matters, the only access to the construction site was by rail and involved the crossing of two timber trestles before the worksite.

Additionally, the work right-of-way was limited to 50 feet from the centerline to the tribal property. With the worksite being just 10 miles outside of Mount Rainier National Park, many environmental issues were also overcome. MJ Hughes met all of these challenges, and the project was a great success for all stakeholders.

Project Team and Stats:

Owner: Tacoma Rail
Location: Elbe, Washington
Start Date: June 2009
Completion Date: November 2009

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