BNSF Bridge over Central

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BNSF Bridge over Central

Postby MNdible » September 5th, 2013, 11:15 pm

Sounds like the reconstruction of the BNSF bridge over Central Avenue is going ahead. This is the bridge in question.

This article is a bit old, but the city is getting ready to grant MNdot the easements on city land necessary to build a shoo-fly (new word for me) over Central next summer. In this case, the shoo-fly is apparently a big earthen berm with temporary tracks on top that will allow them to maintain continuous railroad operation while the old bridge is torn down and rebuilt. It will completely shut down Central Avenue while it's in place.

This section is currently double-tracked -- I assume there's no reason to make the bridge wider to accommodate a third track through here, right?

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Re: BNSF Bridge over Central

Postby mulad » September 6th, 2013, 5:58 am

Here's MnDOT's page on the project. They have one PDF from last year's open house on the "Documents" page, and it looks like they'll have another one soon ("Fall 2013").

Yeah, there probably isn't much need for an extra track here. Maybe if the ground was flat, since it might make sense to have a siding leading to nearby industrial customers someday, but since it's on a berm, I doubt the expense would be worth it. There's also a junction just northwest of here which is likely a bigger capacity constraint -- it's quad-tracked for a short distance (about half a mile) but pretty quickly goes down to the two tracks used by Northstar.

There's a modest chance that the Empire Builder will go over the shoo-fly at some point. When I worked at McAfee, some coworkers would occasionally report being stopped for it at Energy Park Drive, so that meant the train took this line (the St. Paul Subdivision) until just west of MN-280, where it would turn south onto the Minnesota Commercial to cross over to St. Anthony junction, where the MNNR main yard is, just north of Midway station.

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Re: BNSF Bridge over Central

Postby Le Sueur » September 30th, 2013, 4:55 pm

I'm sure I've posted this before somewhere, but for $14 mil, it would be fun if they could do it like this:

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