Raising 11foot8

On October 29, 2019 workers raised the 11foot8 bridge from the old, posted clearance of 11 feet 8 inches (3.55 meters) to a new (posted*) clearance on 12 feet 4 inches (3.76 meters). Here is a rough outline of the work that was done:

Oct. 23 – Gregson St. was closed for all traffic at the RR bridge. Crew started bringing in eqipment.
Oct 24-28 – Bridge cleanup … contractor crew removed all old, obsolete parts of the bridge and prepared the structure for raising. The also installed the new crashbeam on top of four 2-inch shims. NS dropped several truckloads of additional ballast along the tracks on both sides of the bridge
Oct 29 – Bridge raising … Tracks were closed for train traffic that morning. The contractor crew installed twelve 55-ton jacks under the bridge and raised it by 8 inches. Norfolk Southern track maintenance crew then used a ballast tamper and a regulator to raise the tracks to the new grade (see video). An NS signal crew was also on site, as well as a supervisor from the NC Railroad Company. At 18:10 that evening, the #79 Carolininan was the first train to cross the newly raised bridge.
Oct 30-Nov 4 – Bridge painted … Another contractor crew came in and covered the entire structure in heavy tarps. Then they sandblasted and thoroughly cleaned the structure. Finally the crew painted the bridge.
Nov 5 – at 10:00 AM Gregson St was re-opened for traffic under the bridge.
Nov 26 – the first truck hit the crash beam

Video documentation of the raising of the 11foot8 bridge to a 12foot4 clearance*
Video of the bridge right after the renovations were completed
Video of the first crash at the 11foot8 +8 canopener

(*) re. the clearance: the posted clearance is 12 feet 4 inches, but I measured 12 feet 8 inches at the center/crown of the road, where the clearance is smallest. I used a measuring tape to measure from the top of the crash beam down to the road, then I subtracted the 12 inches of the height of the crash beam.

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