UPRR, Milam To Gibbon, Second Main Track


This project, located within the federally recognized Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) in northeast Oregon, is adjacent to and/or crossed sensitive salmon and steelhead breeding habitat. We were selected to extend Union Pacific Railroad’s (UPRR) existing siding track to create 4.2 miles of second main track through the reservation.

The project included designing more than 2.5 miles of new track including a new 120-foot, single-span, through-plate girder (TPG) bridge and an at grade public road crossing.

To complete this project, we addressed the following issues:

  • A low-clearance bridge located over a sensitive salmon breeding habitat that did not meet hydraulic criteria.
  • Portions of the track were adjacent to a county road, limiting grading options.
  • An at-grade county road crossing required reconstruction.
  • Several properties along the project are owned in trust by the CTUIR, making right-of-way acquisition difficult.
  • A high level of facilitation with the CTUIR government was required.

This project is an outstanding example of how outreach and coordination with a client and key stakeholders can result in unique engineering solutions. Our team worked with the CTUIR early in the process to identify key concerns and then designed solutions to address those concerns.

Throughout the coordination process, a valuable trust-based relationship was established between UPRR and the CTUIR. This project was a success for both major stakeholders on two fronts. First, the CTUIR was able to receive benefits to streams and salmon habitat. Second, UPRR was able to complete a critical link in its transportation infrastructure.

Project Awards

2016 ACEC Nebraska Honor Award


Ryan Kosola

Omaha, Nebraska


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