RailStar Projects

In September, 2020, a downed power line started a wildfire that completely consumed the entire west approach of Bridge 34.0 just west of Gibbon, Washington.  There were several fires in the area that day, and firefighters scrambled to protect homes while fighting fires on multiple fronts.  Unfortunately, they were unable to save the bridge, and it burned to ground.  Nothing was left but ashes, hardware and two rails suspended in the air.

The railroad immediately started the process of building a replacement structure.  At first, the intent was to construct precast concrete spans on new steel pile piers, but Koppers Railroad Structures proposed a "replace-in-kind" framed timber trestle for approximately $1 Million less.  But there was a hitch.  There was a three month back log on treated bridge timber.  After quickly weighing the options, the Railroad decided on timber, and Koppers placed the massive order for around 50,000 board feet of piling, caps, stringers and bracing.  Founded on the old piles cut off at groundline, the replacement structure was similar to the original constructed by the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1960.  Timber began arriving in January of 2021, and incredibly, supported its first train that April.