Eby Chiques Road Bridge

Location: Lancaster County, PA

eby_chiquesThe recently completed Eby Chiques Road bridge near Mount Joy, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania eliminated the last public at-grade railroad crossing on Amtrak’s 104-mile Keystone Corridor. With the elimination of the crossings and other changes, Amtrak plans to increase the top speed of trains on the corridor to 125 mph, shaving travel times between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania’s Keystone Corridor is a rail route running east/west across the state linking Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia, roughly parallel to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76). Constructed in the early 1900s by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Keystone Project required elimination of the public crossing to minimize the risk of train/vehicle collisions. Completion of the bridge, coupled with a new interlocking system “sealed” the corridor, allowing safe, high-speed passenger rail transport utilizing the new Amtrak Cities Sprinter electric locomotives.

CCJM‘s innovative and cost-effective solution involved constructing nearly 2,600 feet of new roadway and a new P/S concrete bridge of 128 ft over the electrified Amtrak while maintaining traffic over the existing crossing during construction.

Careful planning by CCJM during design along with coordination with local officials, Amtrak personnel and adjacent land owners was an integral part of the success for this $7.9 million project. For example, the impact to prime farmland in the new corridor was minimized through the use of 1,658 feet of retaining wall structures along all four sides of the approach roadway.

CCJM also performed extensive railroad/PUC coordination related to this high-speed electrified rail line. Constructability required careful consideration to enable threading the 128 ft. beams between the 12,000 Volt Catenary (Traction) wires and the 138,000 Volt Transmission lines which are elevated over the new bridge. In total about one-half mile of the Catenary wire system required re-profiling.