Trestle repairs beginning

Published 7:45 pm Monday, September 29, 2008

Scott Bridge Co. Inc. of Opelika was on the scene Monday of Friday’s railroad trestle accident, assessing the damages and putting forth a plan of action.

“First, we’re going to get down there and get cranes so they can lower and raise the bridge,” said Billy McCamey, assistant supervisor with Scott Bridge Co. Inc. “We don’t know what all is damaged yet, so we will see what we need to do.”

“We hope that, by Thursday, we can lower the bridge and give us a five- to six-hour window when we can run our trains,” said Steve James, assistant general manager of Alabama and Gulf Coast Railway, which uses the trestle. “After that, they will raise the bridge again so they can work on it.”

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The trestle, which crosses the Black Warrior River at the Marengo County-Greene County border, was damaged on Friday when a dredge and service boat owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers struck the support on the north (Greene County) side of the river as the boat was moving northward/ That caused the cables supporting the counterweight on the south (Marengo County) end to slacken, allowing the counterweight to fall to the tracks, leaving the counterweight on the north end of the trestle still a few feet above the track, as is normal.

James said that — once the equipment is in place, Scott Bridge Co. Inc. would begin work repairing the trestle on Wednesday.

“We’ve got train traffic on both sides that has been delayed,” he said. “Some of the traffic has been rerouted.”