Digging Out in Oregon
2008 saw one of the worst natural disasters in the railroad industry in modern times. The Frazier Mudslide buried the Interstate 5 corridor in Oakridge, Oregon, interrupting the daily routines of 15 daily UPRR freight trains and Amtrak’s Coast Starlight. CDM Smith answered the call to assess the situation with permitting, stormwater engineering and general design services and immediately prepared the necessary permits for UPRR to begin repair work. For more than three months, 200 workers and 150 pieces of equipment worked to dig the track out from under the earth before the route could be reopened and service reinstated. CDM Smith’s speedy response time enabled UPRR to expedite the rehabilitation of the tracks and resume normal operations.
Stopping Sliding Slopes in California’s Plumas County
Heavy rains in California’s Plumas County provoked earth, rock and debris out of its rightful resting place, triggering a landslide alongside UPRR’s railroad tracks. Without delay, CDM Smith began collecting data to produce a solution to restore service quickly and created design and construction plans for a retaining wall. Providing geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, civil design, survey and environmental permitting services, CDM Smith helped repair the affected area in an efficient manner by re-establishing proper roadbed width and fully restoring rail service. Quick action and early involvement of permitting specialists eliminated the need to seek permits, significantly accelerating the reparation process and restoring service in a timely manner. CDM Smith’s broad range of capabilities eliminated the need for multiple consultants, accelerating the project’s schedule considerably.
Dodging Falling Rocks in Idaho
A looming near-vertical, 100-foot tall rock face in Northern Idaho’s Boundary County caused safety concerns to the tracks below. This chronic rock fall site, along with similar areas of concern, called for an innovative solution to manage the steep slope safely. CDM Smith alleviated the hazard of falling rocks by developing plans to scale the rock face and lay back the slope to a more reasonable, stable angle to provide long-term stability. The construction of a cantilevered soldier pile retaining wall delivered additional safety measures to the area directly below the vertical rock face. Other high-risk locations were identified and scaled appropriately, helping keep the need for future work to a minimum.
CDM Smith stands ready to support UPRR with whatever environmental challenge nature serves up next. By applying a proven, integrated approach to natural disasters and unforeseen environmental circumstances, our team supports URPP with fast, safe and compliant solutions that enable them to deliver on their mission and meet their client expectations.