PATCO Westmont Viaduct Track Rehabilitation

Apr 06, 2017

Railroad Construction Co. is proceeding with a $12 million contract from the Delaware River Port Authority to rehabilitate the track system at the Westmont Viaduct in Haddon Township, NJ.  The project, spanning two and a half years, will make improvements to PATCO’s High Speed Line.

Prior to the start of work, a survey was conducted of the bridge deck surface and all track components.  The entire track fastening system on the viaduct – two tracks each 2,000’ long – will be removed and replaced.  The existing concrete support plinths and trench will be demolished and 132# rail, rail fasteners and anchors will be removed.  New anchors, plinths, Panguard fasteners and 136RE running rail will be installed.  The contract also includes replacement of deck joint seals, abatement of Transite shims under the third rail insulators and repairs to the drainage system.

A 30’ long mock-up section of the new track was built offsite for the purpose of testing materials and assessing procedures to be implemented during the project.  This track proved to be a valuable tool for developing efficient work strategies.

One of the biggest challenges encountered on the job was the need to install the new track at a different profile than the existing system.  In order to develop a detailed plan of installation for the anchor bolts, and to avoid damaging the reinforcement steel, the entire decking structure was scanned and the data was input into a CAD (computer-aided design) program.  Using this program allowed the fasteners and reinforcing steel to be analyzed and compared.  As a result, various lengths are now being utilized on the 13,000 anchors required.

Work is scheduled during 55-hour track outages each weekend.  Working in 160’ sections, about thirty-five percent of Track 1 and the associated fasteners and plinths has been replaced.  Steel railings have been installed and painting has been performed.  The job is projected to be completed in November 2017.

We wish to thank Adam Jacurak of DRPA and Drew Kelley of Jacobs for their ongoing help with the project.