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Vancouver USA’s rail engineering excellence
(Posted on 26/02/19)
The Port of Vancouver USA’s West Vancouver Freight Access project (WVFA) won a 2019 Engineering Excellence Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Oregon.
The Port of Vancouver USA is one of the major ports on the Pacific Coast. It is primarily a bulk import and export facility with dedicated facilities for specific commodities, such as grain, soy beans, corn, mineral ores, concentrates, fertilizers, clays, bauxite and agricultural commodities.
Port Director of Engineering and Project Delivery Monty Edberg, who led a team of staff and consultants for more than 10 years to see WVFA to completion, presented the award to the port’s Board of Commissioners during a public meeting 12 February.
“The WVFA has been the recipient of several American awards as well as one international award, and we should all be proud of our involvement in the project,” said Edberg. “I can say that pretty much everyone on our staff has been involved in this project. And I think we need to recognize the commission’s role in this, too. Because of your steadfastness – your stick-to-itiveness with this project – and your vision, I’d like to present the Board of Commissioners with…our Grand Award for 2019.”
Omaha, Nebraska-based engineering firm HDR was the port’s prime consultant on WVFA and submitted the project for a 2019 Engineering Excellence Award.
WVFA was one of four projects in Southern Washington and Northern Oregon that received a Grand Award this year. The top award – Project of the Year – went to the City of Vancouver’s Waterfront Park.
The West Vancouver Freight Access project brings congestion relief and efficiency to Port of Vancouver USA and regional businesses as well as rail users and communities across the Western U.S. The project was a concerted, decade-long effort by the port to create jobs and generate economic benefit by investing in freight rail infrastructure. WVFA improves freight rail movement through the port and along the BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad mainlines connecting the Pacific Northwest to major rail hubs in Chicago and Houston, and from Canada to Mexico.
The $251 million project consisted of 21 sub-projects, including construction of a new port rail entrance, expansion of the port’s rail corridor and the addition of a loop track at the port’s Terminal 5. The overall project also increased the port’s railcar capacity from 50,000 to 400,000 cars annually.
WVFA was delivered in July 2018, ahead of schedule and $24 million under the original engineer’s estimate.
The annual ACEC Engineering Excellence competition recognizes engineering achievements that demonstrate the highest degree of merit and ingenuity.
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