By Mark Edward Nero
The Port of Vancouver USA has won an IHS Dredging and Port Construction Innovation Award for a project creating new rail entrance into the port.
The port said Jan. 4 that its trench project was selected over projects at Port Miami and DP World London Gateway to win this prestigious industry award, which was presented at a ceremony in London.
The Vancouver USA trench is a new east-west rail entrance that eliminates conflicts with north-south rail traffic by bringing trains under the 1908 Columbia River railroad bridge.
The structure, which is watertight and sits atop more than 410 steel pilings embedded in the river’s north bank, is the cornerstone of the port’s $275 million West Vancouver Freight Access project.
The WVFA project is a concerted effort by the port to invest in its freight rail infrastructure. It consists of 21 individual projects to improve the ability to move freight not only through the port but also along the BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad mainlines connecting the Pacific Northwest to major rail hubs throughout North America.
In selecting the trench as a winner in its category, the HIS judges called the trench “an innovative and interesting method of both design and construction,” and noted that it “resulted in more capacity, fewer delays and used innovative techniques.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of our project and the hard work of everyone involved,” port interim CEO Julianna Marler said. “This is a very unique and innovative structure with benefits that stretch far beyond the port’s borders.”
The trench was completed in August 2015.