News & Reviews News Wire Union Pacific reopens Dry Canyon Bridge (updated)

Union Pacific reopens Dry Canyon Bridge (updated)

By | August 2, 2021

Bridge reopens a month ahead of original estimate; Feather River Canyon line also back in operation

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Train crossing bridge next to construction equipment
Train crossing bridge next to construction equipment
The first train crosses the Dry Canyon bridge in Northern California on Sunday, following completion of repair work. (Union Pacific)

WEED, Calif. — Union Pacific has reopened the Dry Canyon Bridge a month ahead of its original estimate, allowing the railroad to resume operations on its I-5 Corridor line between California and the Pacific Northwest.

The railroad initially estimated the bridge would not be completed until Sept. 1, but last week said it could be completed by mid-August [see “Wildfire disruptions continue …,” Trains News Wire, July 28, 2021], then said it could be completed in “early August.” Spokeswoman Robynn Tysver says the bridge reopened Sunday, “thanks to employees’ tireless efforts.” The 1,200-foot long, 150-foot high bridge was damaged by fire June 28; its remote location required UP to build a road to bring in heavy equipment for the repair work.

While the bridge is open, the railroad has said in an advisory to customers that traffic delays will continue over “the next few weeks” as the railroad moves resources to address a backlog of trains.

Meanwhile, the Feather River Canyon route north of Oroville, Calif., which had been closed since last week because of the Dixie Fire, has also reopened after repairs were completed to decks on two bridges. UP says it continues to work with the California Deparment of Forestry and Fire Protection to minimize fire damage, and it continues to deploy water trains along the route. As of this morning, KCRA-TV reports that fire has burned almost 249,000 acres and is 35% contained, but some evacuation orders have been lifted and roads have reopened.

— Revised and updated at 12:40 p.m. CDT to reflect reopening of bridge, Feather River Canyon line.

9 thoughts on “Union Pacific reopens Dry Canyon Bridge (updated)

  1. Would LOVE to know the extent of the damage and what the actual repairs were. Just the geeky, technical side of me speaking out.

  2. I am reasonably sure that a private contractor did a lot of the work on the bridge rebuilding project.
    MOW employees probably helped get a road cleared into the site but they don’t normally do bridge work which would be the B&B Department. They no longer have the manpower or equipment for this size project but I’m sure they assisted.

  3. Thank you for the outstanding job, Union Pacific maintenance of way crews.
    Keeping our country moving!

  4. And a highway bridge 50 ft long 50 ft wide and 10 ft high over a dry brook takes TWO years! Can we get MOW crews to build highway bridges? Looks like they know how to do it.

    1. If this were a Caltrans job, they would just start sending out RFPs for consultants to talk with consultants to consult on scoping for CEQA and NEPA reviews. The reviews would take at least a year to complete, if there weren’t any ESA listed species in the area. If there were, a reroute would need to be planned, which would require more consultants to consult with consultants. And of course that would require more consultants to consult with other consultants to discuss prior consultations with other consultants. (Sarcasm button on, having worked with Caltrans in the past, as a consultant….)

      Why do you think CHSR is so behind schedule and over budget? Caltrans spent hundreds of millions of dollar on consultants consulting with consultants. Say what you wish about the private sector. They do get things done when things need to get done.

  5. Does anyone know the status of the Starlight? It’s not on Amtrak’s Twitter feed for service issues.

  6. The undertaking to build a road just to get the heavy equipment on site, and then get the job done way ahead of estimate, is impressive, and reminds me of reading of a time before you know what when railroads routinely replaced or rebuilt burned or washed away bridges and right-of-way in days, not weeks or months.

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