News & Reviews News Wire Norfolk Southern gets mediator’s approval for Pittsbugh clearance project

Norfolk Southern gets mediator’s approval for Pittsbugh clearance project

By Trains Staff | March 7, 2022

| Last updated on March 21, 2024

Plans to create double-stack clearance at four bridges had faced local opposition

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Norfolk Southern logoPITTSBURGH — A Norfolk Southern project to increase clearances to allow double-stack intermodal operations through a Pittsburgh neighborhood awaits city council ratification after being approved by a mediator.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the project will involve raising three bridges by amounts ranging from 17 inches to 2 feet, 9 inches, while the roadbed will be lowered by about 18 inches under another bridge. A fifth bridge will be replaced at its current level, and the railroad will replace a pedestrian bridge that had previously been removed while donating $1.4 to two civic groups on the city’s North Side.

The route will give the railroad a second option for double-stack trains through Pittsburgh, along with a route that follows the south side of the Monongahela River.

“The current route is Norfolk Southern’s Achilles’ heel, as far as the northeast corridor is concerned,” Rudy Husband, NS regional vice president, told the newspaper. “What we’re doing is creating another route for redundancy.”

The railroad received a $20 million state grant to help fund the work in 2017, but a former mayor and neighborhood groups had challenged the project over safety and pollution issues. The opponents and the railroad agreed to mediation in 2019, and the mediator ruled for the new agreement in December.

The railroad hopes to have all four of the clearance projects under way by 2024 but will first hold community meetings about the work.

3 thoughts on “Norfolk Southern gets mediator’s approval for Pittsbugh clearance project

  1. When it comes to rail capital projects, freight or passenger, in these United States, nothing moves fast, if it moves at all. Look how long it took to get the hugely-needed since the Third Avenue El came down Second Avenue Subway built in New York City. And it didn’t go anything like far enough. And Phase 2 is where?

  2. So maybe 8 years after getting the state grant, which itself probably was over a year from application to award, this worthy but not gigantic project will complete its slow walk to completion. Compare with today’s Newswire article about trains organized in a few days for evacuation of Ukranian citizens. Just sayin’.

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