Kissimmee River Restoration Project – CSX Railroad Bridge
The project consisted of the construction of a new bridge that carries the CSX Railroad across a restored section of the Kissimmee River. Lane initially constructed a temporary detour, located north of the existing bridge, and then built the new bridge on the existing mainline railroad track.
The Kissimmee River originally meandered over 100 miles from Lake Kissimmee to Lake Okeechobee through a flood plain that was one to two miles wide. The river was later channelized to improve navigation and mitigate flooding. This effort adversely affected the environment by draining two-thirds of the flood plain. The bridge work allowed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to put the river back into its original meandering configuration in the bridge area. These actions also provided a more natural fluctuation of water levels in both the upper and lower basins that will enhance marshes.
The scope of work included erosion and sediment control, demolition, removal and disposal of buried remnant portions of a previous bridge, earthwork and track work for the permanent mainline, embankment-stabilizing rip rap, bridge substructure and superstructure, fender system, and solar-powered navigation lights.
The embankment on both sides of the bridge kept the river from flowing through. Lane detoured the rail spur 75 feet out from the original line, built the new bridge, moved the track back onto the new bridge, and removed spur and embankment. Both the spur and the bridge used roughly 1,000 tons of crushed granite each. The rail lines carry both CSX freight and Amtrak service at 80 mph.