With the resurgence of the COLT Railroad, the existing at-grade crossing at US Highway 63, a high-speed, 4-lane divided highway, became a considerable safety hazard to the traveling public. In order to determine a fast, safe, and reliable solution to this growing problem, and meet a pending deadline to qualify for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding, the City of Columbia (owner of the COLT Railroad) sought a proven design firm whom could meet these goals. They found their answer in Modjeski and Masters, Inc. (M&M).
Working in concert with the Missouri Department of Transportation, the City of Columbia, and Columbia Terminal Railroad, M&M confirmed that it would be most feasible to relocate the rail line to a previous alignment, with the rail line passing over the highway. However, in order to be eligible for ARRA funding, the project’s plans and specifications would need to be completed by April of 2009. At that time, the sixteen month final design schedule was compressed to ten months.
M&M quickly went to work designing the overpass structure, a 6-span steel girder bridge with four deck girder approach spans and two 85’ through plate girder main spans. The piers are skewed to align with the highway while the abutments are squared to the railroad alignment. To save time during the design process, M&M started final design prior to preliminary plan review. Frequent partnering meetings were held between all stakeholders. In order to reduce interruptions to traffic due to construction, all spans over the traveling lanes were erected during limited nighttime lane closures.
M&M met the challenge and exceeded the client’s needs and expectations by delivering a quality design on time within the altered schedule. As recognition of a job well done, this project received an Honor Award in the 2011 ACEC of Missouri Engineering Excellence Awards competition (Structural Systems Category).
"Without Modjeski and Masters’ willingness and ability to rapidly accelerate their design efforts….the bridge would not have been funded or constructed. This effort, while maybe not widely known, is much appreciated by COLT and the citizens of Columbia." - Christian Johanningmeier, City of Columbia
David Petermeier, PE, SE (Project Manager)
Aaron Kober, PE, SE (Lead Structural Engineer)
Mark Lasseigne, PE, SE (Structural Engineer)
Yuen Siow, PE, SE (Structural Engineer)
Christopher Buckel, PE (Structural Engineer)
Paul Cooper (Senior Technician - Structures)
Adam Harless (Technician - Structures)