Monday, March 27, 2017

Union Pacific Project Almost Complete

Union Pacific Railroad’s track maintenance in Sequoyah County should be completed by the first week in April, a company spokesman said Monday. (Photo Courtesy of Union Pacific)

Union Pacific Railroad is in the final stages of replacing railroad track ties in the 55 miles of Union Pacific track between Alma and Gore.

Jeff DeGraff, Union Pacific spokesman, said the project began on March 9 and is slated to be complete the first week in April.

DeGraff said the tie replacement is preventative maintenance to maintain track integrity, such as alignment. He said not all ties are replaced. Only a certain percentage per mile are replaced. Union Pacific will use about 53,000 ties and 24,000 tons of rock ballast for this project. He explained that as the old ties are pulled out and new ties set, ballast is added and tamped down by machine to keep the track level and safe.

DeGraff said two work crews, called gangs, are replacing the ties, and gangs include 10 to 12 workers each.

The project has a $7 million cost for the 55 miles from Alma to Gore, he said.

DeGraff said drivers may find that Union Pacific crossings are closed for portions of the day as the work continues. The crossings are closed for safety as equipment and materials are moved about he explained.

“It’s hard to say how long a crossing will be closed,” DeGraff said. “If someone finds a crossing closed, it would be best to find an alternative route if convenient.”

Union Pacific Railroad has a total of 32,000 miles in its network, DeGraff said.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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