It is impressive to see at what speed and dispatch work of an important nature can be accomplished when the stakes are high, and it is, though on a much smaller scale, a reminder of the freeway rebuild CC Myers did in the southland several years ago.
Trestle work off to fast pace
Pile driver to sink steel supports in place of timbers destroyed in fire
By Chris Bowman – Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Monday, March 19, 2007
The only smoke spewing from the site of Sacramento’s spectacular railroad trestle fire today should be the soot of pile drivers sinking supports for a replacement bridge.
By Sunday morning, Union Pacific Railroad contractors had extinguished and hauled away the last of the smoldering timbers from the inferno, which broke Thursday evening under circumstances still being investigated.
“They have started preparing the ground for driving the steel piling,” said Mark Davis, spokesman at Union Pacific headquarters in Omaha, Neb.
Stoked by logs preserved with creosote oil, the fire swiftly engulfed the century-old trestle, issued towering columns of coal-black smoke, detoured interstate freight and disrupted commuter service between Sacramento, Roseville and Auburn.
Though the charred rubble is gone, the stink of creosote lingered Sunday.
A steady stream of onlookers in summer clothes and with toddlers and family dogs in tow scampered up the bank of a levee to view the staging grounds for reconstruction.
Robert Hughes, a state Fish and Game spokesman who has observed the activity since Friday afternoon, marveled at the pace of the railroad contractors.
“These people are fast; they’re rolling,” Hughes said against a backdrop of hard-hatted workers assembling a giant crane for the pile driver. The diesel-powered driver will pound into the ground bunches of 60-foot-long columns to anchor a more fire-resistant trestle of concrete and steel.