The new BNSF Plattsmouth Bridge crosses the Missouri River between Plattsmouth, Nebraska and Pacific Junction, Iowa. The bridge was built parallel to the truss it replaced, which dates from 1903. High Steel Structures fabricated 1,213 tons of steel for the 400-foot main navigational span of the bridge using A588/GR50W Fracture Critical steel.
The truss components went into fabrication in early 2012. The project required careful planning and project coordination including a 100% check of the rocker pin bearing assemblies at the company’s Lancaster yard. Delivery was coordinated with the project field assembly teams, with shipments departing three days prior to the need-by dates at the site, which is 1,200 miles away from High Steel’s facility.
With winter approaching, the first of 60 deliveries began in late October of 2012 and continued for 13 weeks. BNSF opened the new bridge in 2013, with the old bridge still in limited service for empty trains. The new Plattsmouth Bridge serves nearly 50 trains daily, carrying coal, mixed freight, intermodal traffic as well as Amtrak.
Bridge Type: Railroad Truss
Steel Tonnage: 1,213 Tons (Truss span)
Steel Type: A588/GR50W (Fracture Critical)
Project Owner: BNSF Railroad, Fort Worth, TX
Contractor: Ames Construction, Burnsville, MN
Design Consultant: TranSystems, Kansas City, MO
Steel Fabricator: High Steel Structures LLC
Finished project photos courtesy BNSF