Across North America, trains continue to rumble across ever-aging bridges. Many of these structures are more than a century old, which means they'll need to be replaced in the near future. For example, Metra is working on a plan to replace its 136-year-old Fox River Bridge in Elgin, Illinois.
The only single-track segment on the railroad's Milwaukee West Line, the bridge has become a significant chokepoint. And although the structure has been maintained over the years, several components have become so deteriorated they can no longer be economically repaired.
"You get to the point where all you're doing is putting Band-Aids on things that you know you’ve got to replace," Metra Chief Mechanical Officer Bruce Marcheschi told me.
To learn more about the Fox River Bridge project and several other bridge replacement efforts, take a look at my feature in our November issue.