Tag Archive for: UP

New UP Railroad Bridge Over West Fork Complete

Union Pacific (UP) has completed the new railroad bridge over the San Jacinto West Fork near US59. During Harvey, the narrow supports of the old bridge caught many trees swept downstream by the flood. The new bridge, two years in the making, has wider supports designed to let trees pass through in the next flood.

History of Project

Shortly after Harvey, UP repaired the old bridge to facilitate northbound rail traffic out of Houston. Then the company started building a new bridge – between and over the supports of the old one. The effort was a marvel of American ingenuity. The new bridge also contains U-shaped spans designed to support the weight of heavy trains over the wider supports.

This afternoon, crews were dismantling the last of the massive cranes used to erect the new bridge.

One Less Contributor to Flooding to Worry About

This is yet another piece of the puzzle designed to reduce flooding in the Humble-Kingwood area. No one can say for sure, how much the logjam created by the old bridge contributed to flooding during Harvey. One thing is certain, however. That’s one less thing to worry about in the future.

Trees caught in the supports of the old pedestrian bridge over 59 and the railroad bridge during Harvey.
Harvey knocked out part of the bridge. Photo taken in March 2018. Note how close the supports are on the far side of the bridge.

One Month Ago

Compare the width of these supports. Photo taken 2 years later in March 2020.

Photos of Completed Bridge

Here’s how the sleek new bridge looked from downstream today. Photo looking west toward 59 behind the railroad bridge.
Another shot from the opposite direction taken today. Looking east from under the US59 bridge. Hopefully no trees will get caught between these supports.

Dismantling Construction Crane

All around the job site on the south shore of the West Fork at 59, crews today could be seen demobilizing. It took one large crane to dismantle another.

Dismantling the large crane used in construction (see three photos above). Shot taken today, 4/13/2020.

This will help reduce flooding. It should also make boating far more pleasurable through this area.

Congratulations and thanks to the hard-working people of the Union Pacific railroad.

Next Up: Edgewater Park

Bridge construction had delayed development of Harris County Precinct 4’s new Edgewater Park immediately to the west. Let’s hope that can now get underway soon.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/13/2020

958 Days after Hurricane Harvey