Key Freight Access Project Under Way at Washington State Port

August 13, 2013, Progressive Railroading

The Port of Vancouver USA recently announced that the second phase, or “crown jewel,” of the West Vancouver Freight Access (WVFA) project is under way in Vancouver, Wash.

The phase involves the construction of a pile-supported concrete structure for a south lead track, effectively creating a new grade-separated southside entrance, port officials said in an online announcement. Slated for completion in July 2014, the project will enable full-length unit trains to enter the port without impeding upon an existing north/south BNSF Railway Co. line that’s used continually each day by freight and passenger trains, they said.

“[The] project will allow the port to continue to serve existing customers while attracting new business with the added capacity and efficiency that it provides,” port officials said. “Initially, the project will include one new rail line, though the structure and foundation are designed to accommodate two rail lines, which will allow for future expansion to take advantage of new opportunities.”

The port in June awarded a $9.4 million contract to Rotschy Inc. to perform the work. In 2007, the port received a $2.94 million grant from the Washington State Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board to help finance the project.

The largest capital project in the port’s 100-year history, the WVFA project is designed to establish new dual-carrier rail access into the port via BNSF and Union Pacific Railroad; enlarge the port’s rail yard and create a loop track; and relocate facilities and utilities to accommodate track realignment. The entire project is slated for completion in 2017.

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