BNSF Bridge 204.66

BNSF Bridge 204.66 (Burlington, IA)

Type:  Vertical Lift
Location: Burlington, IA
Owner:  BNSF Railway

Stafford Bandlow Engineering personnel were retained on an emergency basis to conduct an independent limited evaluation of the mechanical and electrical systems on the new BNSF Bridge 204.66 in Burlington, Iowa. The bridge was a new bridge and had not been handed over to BNSF for service at the time of the incident.  BNSF Railway requested the evaluation following a planned explosion of a pier located under the new movable lift span that caused significant obvious damage to the lift span structure.  There was also damage to the mechanical machinery and electrical equipment as a result of the explosion.

The purpose of the mechanical and electrical evaluation was to determine the severity of the damage to the mechanical machinery and electrical systems and to point out areas of concern with regard to the effect of the explosion on the long-term reliability of the bridge operating systems.

The investigation consisted of gathering and analyzing “As Built” data for the bridge to fully understand its intended operating characteristics. This was followed by a comprehensive inspection and testing of the bridge electrical systems and an evaluation of possible warranty infringements. Finally, an investigation report was issued identifying concerns with the damaged systems, recommending replacements and re-installation and testing of the electrical systems at the bridge.