Portageville Bridge Replacement
Award of Merit
Owner: Norfolk Southern Railway Co.
Engineer of Record: Modjeski & Masters Inc.
General Contractor: American Bridge Co.
Owner’s Representative/Construction Manager: Bergmann Associates
Geotechnical Subconsultant: Golder Associates
Main Arch Bridge Fabricator: Canam Bridges
The Portageville Bridge is the first true arch bridge built for the railroad industry since the 1940s. The services of seven fabricators, 11 subcontractors and an untold number of suppliers and vendors came together to execute the project.
“This project was challenging from several aspects,” one judge said. “The site configuration, the historic and environmental sensitivity and the unique construction approach using a loading factor that considered the double stack freight were all challenges well met. Clearly, close coordination between the designer, contractor, the state park agency and other stakeholders was well done here.”
The prior structure had 13 open-deck spans totaling 819 ft, carrying a single track 235 ft above the Genesee River. And it was one of the nation’s oldest rail bridges as well as an important connector on the Southern Tier line between Binghamton and Buffalo.
The new arch bridge, built on an adjacent alignment 75 ft south of the old one, is a single-track crossing with a ballast-filled concrete deck. The main span is a 483-ft-long arch and there are three 80-ft-long girder span approaches on each end. The new bridge opened on Dec. 11.