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White River Bridge

Elnora, IN

The 1,271 foot long White River freight railroad bridge was constructed in 1899 to carry rail traffic across the White River. The 3-150 foot through-truss spans and 51 timber approach spans had deteriorated from age and rail traffic. The structure has national security significance in that it supports the only rail service to the Crane Naval Support Facility. The goal of the project was to replace and upgrade to current standards the existing structure along its current alignment allowing for heavier and taller rail cars while accommodating higher train speeds including widening and raising the track approaches. Work was performed during the high-water season with the team being tasked to minimizing impacts to the environment, adjacent landowners and current rail traffic.


Design Nine, Inc. performed the design of the replacement concrete ballasted deck girder approach spans and the 3 – 150 foot open deck through plate girder spans, created bid documents, solicited contractors, provided recommendations to the railroad, provided construction monitoring of the day-to-day activities and project management of the documentation required by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. The tasks involved project initiation and procurements of railroad furnished materials, development and execution of a detailed work plan and federal project management plan, monitoring the removal of the existing bridge leading up to scheduled track outage for the placement of the new bridge. Additional oversight included reviewing the fabrication of all concrete and steel structural components. All work and documentation required coordination and approval of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the FRA along with the execution, development and submitting of all the required approvals and conference calls. The project approved by the FRA was $14,000,000 with the construction being performed in 2014 and 2015.


Design Nine was assisted by AMEC Foster Wheeler with the design of micropiles and concrete pier wrapping to rehabilitate and stabilize the main truss river piers, geotechnical engineering, hydrology analysis, and the daily monitoring and reporting of the contractor’s progress.  AMEC Foster Wheeler also assisted with permitting requirements and the requirements of the historical preservation society.


Project details


White River Bridge


Indiana Rail Road Company


Elnora, IN


United States


Fact sheet