Pioneer Street Rail Overpass

NOTICE 09/20/2021
Starting today, Division Street will be open at Main Street for local resident access only for a period of 3 weeks to allow for needed construction work. The City of Ridgefield will determine a permanent closing day for the Division Street crossing – a requirement with the opening of the Pioneer Street Rail Overpass.

Starting today, the ONLY access to all waterfront areas is via Pioneer Street and the Rail Overpass. Mill Street is now permanently closed.

Today was the celebration of the construction completion of the Overpass! The anticipated date for vehicle and pedestrian traffic use is September 17.

Will be sealing the concrete last week in July. Handrails to be installed in August. Could be structurally ready in September, but will still need various agency approvals before traffic will be allowed on the overpass.

Power to the bridge approach.  Anticipate late September or October completion. Approval from BNSF, Federal Rail and WASHDOT will be required prior to traffic movement on overpass.

Power to all the overpass decks; fencing going up.

Scaffolding and falsework were removed from the Pioneer Street Rail Overpass phase 3 project; all spans are now self-supporting.

BIG (literally) stuff has been underway on the Pioneer Street Rail Overpass project! Last week, continuing this week, girders for  2 of the aerial spans over the rail tracks arrived by truck, one girder per vehicle. The girders were lifted over the tracks and into place via one large crane on each side of the track. Each girder is 128 ft. long, weighing in at 65 tons. One crane has the capacity to lift 560,000 pounds; the other can lift over 1 million pounds. The work continues on the girders for 3 of the 5 spans through early February. Later the last 2 girders, which are at the access ramp curve, will be poured in place. The project is on track to meet its year-end completion deadline.

10/12/2020 (From PortWorks Fall 2020 issue): RAIL OVERPASS PHASE 3 Continues

Construction on the Pioneer Street Rail Overpass Phase 3 Project is continuing and on target for a late fourth quarter, 2021 completion.  The final phase of this Port project began in March; it includes the installation of a new bridge and aerial span connecting the north and south approach roads constructed in previous phases.

The initial below-ground drilled shaft and support work has been completed.  Work on above grade columns, crossbeams and superstructure work has started and is in progress in preparation for pre-cast girders, cast- in-place box girders and follow-on roadway deck.  Work on the North Bridge approach has commenced along with installation of Wall 1 and Wall 2 and associated storm drain.

When completed, the Pioneer Street Rail Overpass will provide safe, predicable pedestrian and motorized vehicle access between Downtown Ridgefield and the waterfront, including the Port’s 41-acre developable parcel.  A grand opening celebration and dedication will be held after completion.

This photo is a view looking South from Pier 1 toward Pier 2; ironworkers are installing rebar for the Pier 2 cross beam.  In the background are Pier 3 (with flag) and Pier 4 and Pier 5.

7/6/2020 (From PortWorks Summer 2020 issue): RAIL OVERPASS PHASE 3 ON TRACK

Construction on the Pioneer Street Rail Overpass Project’s phase 3 is presently on schedule for a 4th Quarter, 2021 completion. This final phase of the three-phase project began in late March. It includes the installation of a new bridge and aerial span connecting the north and south approach roads built by the Port in previous phases.

The initial below ground supports and drilled shaft work are
underway. The new bridge is comprised of 6 piers with 2 ea., 8 ft
diameter drilled shafts for each pier. The drilled shafts are the initial
base support for the columns, pier caps and roadway deck. They are
excavated down approximately 70 feet into solid ground utilizing a large
drill rig with an approximate operating weight of 142 tons.

Once the drilled shafts are installed the follow on concrete support columns and pier caps will be installed. These will support the subsequent pre-cast girders and cast in place box girder and roadway deck. In this photo, workers remove a temporary metal casing during installation of one of the drilled shafts. The temporary casing is installed during excavation of the drilled shafts and provides ground support and stabilization to hold back the surrounding soil until the steel reinforcement and concrete are placed.

When completed, the rail overpass will provide safe, predictable
access for motorists and pedestrians between Downtown and the
Ridgefield waterfront. A grand opening celebration and dedication will be held after completion.

5/14/2020: For the duration of the Pioneer Street Rail Overpass construction project, for safety purposes the Port has closed access to the Mill street rail crossing. Click for detour info.

3/25/2020: In the Governor’s order, public projects that “further a public purpose related to a public entity or governmental function or facility, including but not limited to publicly financed low-income housing” are exempt from the general ban on construction. A full copy of the Governor’s order can be viewed at: Governor’s Construction Guidance Memo.

3/23/2020: Construction has begun! Our contractors have been staging equipment at the site in advance of this date in preparation for the Notice to Proceed required by the PUD.

11/27/2019: The Port Commission awarded the contract for the final phase of the Pioneer Street Rail Overpass project to Tapani Inc. of Battle Ground. Tapani’s bid came in at $8,221,448.85. This phase of the project includes the aerial span connecting to two access roads constructed earlier by the port. The work for this phase of the overpass project is expected to begin in spring 2020, with an 18-month completion time-frame from start to finish.

11/19/2019: From 10 bids, we have an apparent low bidder for the port’s final phase of the Pioneer Street Rail Overpass project.

That bidder is Battle Ground-based Tapani, Inc., whose proposal came in within project budget.  The bid opening was held at 2 p.m. today at the port offices. After required due diligence by the port, the final award will be made at the Port of Ridgefield commission meeting scheduled for Wed., Nov. 27.

The Pioneer Street Rail Overpass, when completed, will provide safe access to and from the waterfront for motorists and pedestrians. At its regularly scheduled Commission Meeting on October 9, 2019, it was announced the Port would go out for bids on the final phase of the Pioneer Street Rail Overpass project – the aerial span over the railroad tracks – on October 16, 2019. Assuming a qualified bidder comes in at or below the budgeted amount for the project, an award will be made at the port’s regularly-scheduled commission meeting on Wed., November 25, 2019.

The aerial span will connect to the north and south approach roads built by the port earlier in two separate phases. Construction on the final phase is estimated to begin in early 2020, with traffic routed onto the overpass by year end. The final phase includes the already- completed design and City of Ridgefield permitting for the project.

Upon completion of the Pioneer Rail Overpass, the two existing rail crossings in Ridgefield – one at Division Street and the other at Mill Street – will be closed, although Division Street will be opened in the event of an emergency

In the early 2000s, the Port of Ridgefield envisioned and began its effort to secure the funds required to construct a rail overpass at Pioneer Street. When completed, the overpass will provide safe and guaranteed pedestrian and auto access between downtown Ridgefield and the waterfront, including the port’s 41-acre mixed-use development site.

On construction celebration day, Sept. 11, 2021, a train does what it's supposed to do: Travels UNDER the Rail Overpass!
Span in view April 22 2021 IMG_1503
The overpass revealed: Scaffolding was removed from the rail overpass project in April 2021.
Rail Overpass Sept 28 2020
This photo is a view looking South from Pier 1 toward Pier 2; ironworkers are installing rebar for the Pier 2 cross beam. In the background are Pier 3 (with flag) and Pier 4 and Pier 5.
overpass render 2008 from east side
overpass render 2008 from west side

Phases 1 and 2 were completed in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The final phase was due to start summer of 2017, but was delayed pending approval by the Washington State Department of Transportation and Burlington Northern, the rail line operator. An additional delay occurred in the spring of 2018 when the port was required to conduct a new wildlife environmental impact study due to the presence of White Tail deer – a threatened species – in the nearby Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

Funding for the $11.3 million overpass project has come from several sources.  In 2015 the port secured $7.8 million in state funding, $2 million in federal Surface Transportation funding through Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC), and in early 2017 the port was awarded $900,000 from a U.S. Department of Transportation Railroad Safety Grant. The remaining dollars for the project were provided by the port and others.

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