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Life-Cycle Engineering Services | EXPANDED

Modjeski and Masters is pleased to announce the acquisition of structural engineering firm Summit Engineering Group, Inc. Our combined engineering prowess and respective technical skillsets will enable us to provide streamlined design and construction solutions to best meet client needs.

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Paulsboro Railroad Bridge Replacement

| Paulsboro, NJ

  • Client:

    Conrail Shared Assets
  • Service:

    Movable Bridges
  • Status:

  • Overview

    Freight railroads have played a crucial role in America's development, particularly in the state of New Jersey. Its proximity to major ports in Philadelphia and New York and abundant natural resources made it an ideal place for railroad development. The industrial town of Paulsboro, situated along the banks of the Delaware River, remains a key link in Conrail's busy Penns Grove Secondary line, which serves southern New Jersey. Built in 1917, the former structure which carried the line over Mantua Creek was a historically significant 'A-frame' swing bridge; a structure that was once common among other rail lines in the region. During the early morning hours of Friday, November 30, 2012, seven freight train cars derailed at the Paulsboro Bridge over the Mantua Creek (also known as the East Jefferson Street railroad bridge). Conrail turned to trusted bridge experts Modjeski and Masters to assist with restoring safe operations of the railroad.

    Following an emergency field response and inspection, Modjeski and Masters worked with Conrail to reopen the formerly movable bridge as a fixed structure. This temporary fix ensured safe operation of the railroad until a more permanent movable structure could be constructed. This new structure would need to be constructed on the same alignment and with as little interruption to rail traffic as possible. Modjeski and Masters was again tasked with finding solutions.

    Our problem solvers determined that a new vertical lift bridge with a lift span length of 70’ would be the optimal design for this location. The new structure features: a vertical clearance of 25’; a stringer, floorbeam, thru-girder lift span system with an open tied deck to minimize lift weight; and, was designed to accommodate a slight increase in rail traffic speed. To facilitate construction and minimize railway disruption, our approach was to fabricate, assemble and test the lift span, tower and counterweight off-site while the new substructure units were installed on-site. The lift span was floated into place. The tower, counterweights and ropes were installed with the new lift span in place and rail traffic restored. M&M provided construction support throughout the construction process.

    For more information, see our project documentary film on YouTube: https://youtu.be/DsycbgUZm5o
  • Description

    Tasks Performed
    • Emergency Response & Engineering
    • Structural Analysis
    • Electrical/Mechanical Inspection
    • Electrical/Mechanical Design
    • Replacement Structure – Conceptual Design
    • Replacement Structure – Design (Preliminary & Final)

    Bridge Geometry
    • Length of Main Span – 70 Feet
    • Total Project Length – 183.5 Feet
    • Tracks on Structure – One
  • Testimonial

    "M&M certainly has an experienced crew that work on movable bridges and it’s unique to the railroad to have that type of talent in-house. The experience has been really good and we look forward to working with M&M again on other projects." - Tim Tierney, PE, President and Chief Operating Officer
  • Credits

    Barney Martin, PhD, PE (Project Principal)
    Richard Martino, PE (Project Manager)
    Richard Jackson, PE (Deputy Project Manager)
    Anthony Temeles, PE, SE (Lead Design Engineer)
    Tyler Miller, PE (Lead Mechanical Engineer)
    Neha Bhinge, PE (Lead Electrical Engineer)