New Port of Vancouver USA Rail Entrance Wins Engineering Excellence Award

3103 NW Lower River Road, Vancouver, WA 98660
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For Immediate Release
Feb. 10, 2016

Contact:  Abbi Russell, Communications Manager
360.992.1116 direct / 360.518.8590 cell

New Port of Vancouver USA rail entrance wins Engineering Excellence Award

VANCOUVER, Wash. – 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 of Vancouver 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. “The broad benefits of the trench, coupled with its unique and innovative design, make it a truly deserving project. I couldn’t be more proud of our staff and consultants for their great work.”

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

The annual ACEC Engineering Excellence competition recognizes engineering achievements that demonstrate the highest degree of merit and ingenuity. Entries are evaluated on criteria such as original or innovative application of new or existing design techniques; future value to the engineering profession; perception by the public; social, economic and sustainable design considerations; complexity; and successful fulfillment of project objectives.

Past winners include the Oregon Department of Transportation Interstate 5 Willamette River Bridge Project (2015), City of Vancouver Northeast 137th/138th Avenue Improvements (2014) and Port of Newport International Terminal Renovation (2014).

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.

The Port of Vancouver USA is one of the major ports on the Pacific Coast, and its competitive strengths include available land, versatile cargo handling capabilities, vast transportation networks, a skilled labor force and an exceptional level of service to its customers and community. For more information, please visit us at

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