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WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 08, 2011, 06:52 PM

Construction on BNSF bridge nearing completion

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - The old wooden bridge is coming down and new steel and concrete is going in. No doubt you have heard, seen or felt work going on in the heart of downtown Moorhead this week.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

The old wooden bridge is coming down and new steel and concrete is going in. No doubt you have heard, seen or felt work going on in the heart of downtown Moorhead this week. BNSF crews and contractors are working around the clock to replace a bridge between Main and Center.

The good news for those living downtown is the pile driver, the noise maker, is expected to shutdown within the hour. That part of the project will be complete, and by the end of the weekend a railroad bridge will be in place, and people living near the tracks can sleep again.

It is work that has to be done, and it is going on day and night. BNSF workers along with contractors driving sections of heavy steel deep into the ground as a new bridge goes up.

Dawn Groslie – Lives in Condo Near Tracks: “They just told us it was going to be a lot of noise.”

Dawn Groslie just moved into a condo near the construction site.

Dawn Groslie: “I think I am going to get ear plugs. Sleeping is kind of an issue.”

Overlooking the tracks and the river. She along with other tenants downtown, like David Fischer met with BNSF, heard details of the project and even received some money.

David Fischer – Lives in Condo Near River: “Surprised there is not more vibration. I was able to get a couple of ear plugs recently and I used those at night and no problem.”

Months of planning went into this 24 hour a day project but the two things BNSF had no control over were the weather and the river. It wasn't until days ago that the river dropped enough so BNSF could begin the project. By tonight, work will continue, but the noisy pile driver will finish its job, making for a much quieter night of sleep.

There is a lot of oily mist that is floating around during the bridge work. That is why tarps are covering some of the condos near the river.

Even during the project, trains are running on a second Main track, through the center of Moorhead. Because of so many crews working, trains will still be sounding horns in the quiet zones in Moorhead. Close to 20 fewer trains a day are traveling through town while the work is going on, but BNSF says having the 24 hour a day work cycle is needed to get this third phase complete.

Amy McBeth – BNSF Spokesperson: “By doing it in this concentrated effort we have all the crews there and all of the work done as quickly as possible the end result is really preventing a project from taking months.”

The 3rd street underpass and bike path along the river there will be closed until the last week of this month.

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