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Life-Cycle Engineering Services | EXPANDED

Modjeski and Masters is pleased to announce the acquisition of structural engineering firm Summit Engineering Group, Inc. Our combined engineering prowess and respective technical skillsets will enable us to provide streamlined design and construction solutions to best meet client needs.

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Galveston Railroad Lift Bridge Replacement

| Galveston, TX

  • Client:

    Galveston County
  • Service:

    Movable Bridges
  • Status:

  • Overview

    The Galveston Bay Causeway Railroad Bridge crosses Galveston Bay connecting Galveston with the Texas mainland at Virginia Point. The Causeway, as built in 1912, consisted of a single Scherzer rolling leaf draw span, 28 reinforced concrete arches and 1.5 miles of filled structure encased by reinforced concrete sheet pile. A major reconstruction was completed in 1912 which replaced most of the approach filled sections with 79 additional concrete arch spans. The bascule span was replaced in 1988 with a single-track span.

    In 2001, the U.S. Coast Guard had declared the narrow passageway through the Galveston Bay Causeway a hazard to navigation. Under the provisions of the "Truman-Hobbs Act" of 1940, funding was provided to replace the existing bascule bridge with a modern vertical lift bridge – increasing the channel clearance from 105 feet to a more contemporary 300-ft. marine opening. Modjeski and Masters movable bridge experts developed preliminary and final design plans for a new movable vertical lift bridge to be built adjacent to the existing single-track bridge. The project featured the construction of a 382’ long vertical lift span, built off-site and floated into place using accelerated bridge construction methods.

    The Modjeski and Masters team oversaw the construction of the new vertical lift bridge, which was successfully completed in 2013. Office support provided for the review of shop drawings and responding to contractor inquiries. Meanwhile, our Resident Engineer provided field oversight, including recording construction activities, costs, quality assurance and as-built plan preparation.
  • Description

    Tasks Performed
    • Replacement Structure – Design (Conceptual, Preliminary & Final)
    • Railroad Services
    • Accelerated Bridge Construction
    • Structural Analysis
    • Geotechnical Engineering
    • Electrical/Mechanical Design
    • Construction Support & Inspection

    Bridge Geometry
    • Main Span – 382 feet
    • Horizontal Clearance – 300 feet
    • Vertical Clearance – 73 feet
    • Tracks on Structure – One railroad track
  • Credits

    Donald Sorgenfrei, PE (Project Principal)
    Buck Ouyang, PE (Structural Design Manager)
    Ralph Eppehimer, PE (Project Manager for Construction)
    Michael Beitzel, NACE (QA, Paint Specialist)
    Lance Borden, PE (Lead Electrical Engineer)
    Jeffrey Newman, PE (Lead Mechanical Engineer)
    Jason Broussard (Resident Engineer)
    Scott Gordon (Structural and Paint Inspector)