Arkansas River: Van Buren RR Drawbridge – Lift Span is Inoperable

Update: Friday, May 13, 2022 5:06 PM

As of 1630 hrs today the removal of damaged structural steel, track, lift cables, and electrical is ongoing.  Once all of the damaged components are removed the crew will attempt to lower the lift span the remaining distance (about 2 feet).  All bent/out of shape steel must be cleared from the lift-shear area before the bridge can be lowered.  Once seated in place the crew can begin repairs to the cable drums and restring cables.  Preliminary assessment does not show significant enough damage to the lift span to prohibit from tracking vertically.  The true test will be once the span is lowered all the way and seated.

In addition to the above lift span work (which is sequencially dependent), the following work is to continue non-stop until completed:  replace structural steel, track, ties, and electrical (switches, relays, etc that were shorted/burnt-up).  The onsite RR supervisor has advised the bridge is expected to be provisionally operational by 2000 hrs 14MAY22 .

Be advised that all CG-related questions this evening and tomorrow be directed to the Command Duty Officer (Petty Officer Wilbur) 901-208-0311.  Alternate POC will be the CG Watch Center 314-269-2332.

 

Peter J. Sambor, M.P.A.

USCG Bridge Management Specialist

1222 Spruce Street, Suite 2.102D

Saint Louis, MO 63103

(314) 269-2380

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Sent: Friday, May 13, 2022 1:21 PM

I assume most of you know about the recent derailment of a train on the railroad drawbridge at river mile 300.8 (Van Buren). This has left the lift span inoperable and navigation cannot pass as the span is in the down position. See below email from the Bridge Branch USCG.  Bottom line….they do not know when we will be able to transit the area.

USCG Peter Sambor is in direct communication with Jeromy Houchin, Chief Engineer, Arkansas & Missouri Railroad.

More to come as we know.

Fred Taylor
Bruce Oakley, Inc. - Project Coordinator

 

Sent: Friday, May 13, 2022 11:36 AM

The locomotive is off the lift span but is moved just a bit (still on the bridge).  RR structures crew is assessing the lift span now that the locomotive is removed.

If their investigation shows the lift span is safe they’ll try to lower the rest of the way (you may recall from the picture the lift span was slightly elevated…it may not have lowered all the way when the train arrived or the raised situation may have resulted from the locomotive derailment, I do not know and the RR has not commented).

A crane outfit is heading to the site via the river and is expected to arrive late Friday/early Saturday (I have not been able to get a point of origin for the crane/workplant).  Note: If the lift span can’t be lower as described above, then the span will have to be lowered using the floating workplant with the heavy lift crane on it.  Either way, once the span is again safely fully seated then repairs will begin to all affected components.

I will be in contact with the RR throughout the day today and provide updates.  Please note that through the weekend the main CG POC will be Petty Officer Wilber (Command Duty Officer) 901-208-0311.  Alternate POC will be the CG Watch Center 314-269-2332.

I have discussed the ongoing events with CG Sector Lower’s Waterway Management (MSTC Swindle 901-521-4813) and reiterated the need for ensuring waterway users (Fred and Perry in particular) are kept in the loop regarding ongoing activities affecting vessel traffic.

Peter J. Sambor, M.P.A.
USCG Bridge Management Specialist
1222 Spruce Street, Suite 2.102D
Saint Louis, MO 63103
(314) 269-2380