Walsh Construction: In the Trenches

By Eric Harding

In 2012, ACE selected Chicago-based Walsh Construction to build the San Gabriel Trench (SGT) Project, which is part of the ACE program. The $172.6 million, 2.2-mile-long grade separation project involves constructing a concrete-walled railroad trench 30 feet deep and six feet wide through the City of San Gabriel, into which a 1.4-mile section of Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) track will be lowered. It also involves grade separations at four crossings, over which precast girder roadway bridges will be built.

According to ACE, the project will reduce locomotive horn and crossing bell noise, and eliminate an estimated 1,744 hours of vehicle delay each day at the four crossings.

The busiest crossing is San Gabriel Boulevard, which carries approximately 35,310 vehicles per day and operates at 118 percent of capacity in peak hours. Add in street-bridge crossings at Ramona Street, Mission Road Bridge and Del Mar Avenue, and capacity jumps to an estimated 90,000 vehicles each day.

“When the job is completed, the train will be down in the trench and the street crossings will go over the train unimpeded without any safety issues crossing the track,” Walsh Project Manager Jeff Jones said.

Safety First

Deep excavations that involved moving 575,000 cubic yards of dirt and work near live UPRR tracks placed safely at the top of this project’s “key challenges” list. Relocating sewers and trench drains required shoring excavations more than40 feet deep, and the Rubio shoofly bridge required excavating within 12 feet of live track. During shoring excavation, crews encountered…

To read more about innovations and safety measures on Walsh Construction’s San Gabriel Trench Project, read the full article in this month’s Business Review USA & Canada! 

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