New port rail entrance wins engineering award

The Port of Vancouver USA’s new rail entrance won a 2016 Engineering Excellence Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Oregon.

The rail entrance is a watertight, grade-separated concrete trench along the Columbia River. Part of the port’s West Vancouver Freight Access project, the trench reduces regional rail congestion by as much as 40 percent by providing a second dedicated rail entrance into the port and eliminating conflicts with the east-west BNSF Railway mainline.

“We were competing with some really great projects in Oregon and Southwest Washington,” said port CEO Todd Coleman in a press release. “The broad benefits of the trench, coupled with its unique and innovative design, make it a truly deserving project.”

The trench was one of five projects in Oregon and Southwest Washington that received a Grand Award this year. The Project of the Year Award went to the Tilikum Crossing in Portland.

The port and its consultants on the project – BergerABAM and HDR Inc. – have submitted the trench for the national ACEC design competition in Washington, D.C. The national competition winners will be announced in April.

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