RAILROAD & TRANSIT
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
The J&L Tunnel is 1,626 feet long by 24 feet wide and consists of an 818-foot-long tangent section and an 808-foot long horizontally curved section, which carries a single track. The tunnel was constructed in the 1880s to allow railroad operations beneath the J&L Steel Company's Pittsburgh Works Southside plant. J&L Steel Company and the Southside steel plant are no longer in business, and the plant has been replaced by a large mixed-use commercial, retail, and residential complex. The area over the tunnel is currently used as green space for the complex. The tunnel, however, is still an active part of the national rail infrastructure; approximately 30 trains per day run through the tunnel. The raising and reconstruction of the tunnel's roof was part of the National Gateway Clearance Improvement Program, a Public-Private Partnership program with the Federal Railroad Administration to raise rail clearances and improve efficiency of rail routes that link Mid-Atlantic ports with Midwestern markets. The program enables increased use of double-stack trains throughout the U.S. Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Michael Baker provided comprehensive engineering services for the design-build reconstruction of 1,700 feet of the roof as part of National Gateway Clearance Improvement Program. Michael Baker's services included final design and construction support services, including field surveys, geotechnical investigations, structural design, erosion and sedimentation control, maintenance and protection of traffic, drainage design, landscaping, electrical and site lighting design, utility coordination, permitting, and stakeholder coordination.