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Author Topic: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge  (Read 48673 times)

Grzrd

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I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« on: February 14, 2012, 10:09:40 PM »

In the February 13, 2012 article, Some imagine Chester Street for new bridge, Scott Bennett, the director of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, gave a current estimate of $750 million for construction of the Great River Bridge:

Quote
The Great River Bridge, a $750 million proposed crossing on the Mississippi River near Arkansas City. It is part of future Interstate 69. It has been designed, but no funding for the bridge has been identified.

The Great River Bridge is also known as the Charles W. Dean Bridge.  I-69 Section of Independent Utility 12 ("SIU 12") includes the Charles W. Dean Bridge over the Mississippi River and a short approach from Mississippi.  Here's a map of SIU 12 (which is located primarily in Arkansas).  Also,  here are two perspectives of the current design of the Charles W. Dean Bridge:
    

It should be a very long time before any construction will begin on this bridge; I've started this thread to basically be a repository of information of the occasional snippets of information about cost estimates and other related items.  Over time, it should be somewhat similar to the "I-69 Ohio River Bridge" thread on the Ohio Valley page.

I don't think anyone is even venturing a guess as to when construction might begin.  The best recent clue that I have seen is from page 9/18 of the I-69 Mississippi Section of Independent Utility 11 ("SIU 11") Final Environmental Impact Statement ("FEIS") Executive Summary pdf (page S-9 of the document), in which 2026 is identified as the beginning date for the 22.8 mile section of Section 4 of SIU 11, which is the SIU 11 section in Mississippi that connects to SIU 12 and the bridge:

Quote
Section 4: 22.807 miles, South of SR 446 Interchange to Great River Bridge
Anticipated Letting Date: 2026

Above said, AHTD in the past has informed me that ROW acquisition has already begun for the bridge:

Arkansas 2010-13 STIP, which was released in April, lists a FY 2010 letting for the Charles W. Dean Memorial Bridge over Mississippi River for "Phase I".  The project has an earmark of $8.67 million and the total letting is anticipated to be $10.35 million.  The recent I-69 book estimates total cost of project to be around $500 million.
http://www.arkansashighways.com/stip/Final%20STIP%202010-2013%20%20Web%20Version.pdf
Quote
I-69 Corridor (Hwy. 65-Miss. Rt. 1) (GRB) (Ph I) (F)   069   2010   Phase I    $10,346        $8,666
I recently emailed AHTD to see if these projects were still "on track".  Pertinent part of the reply:
Quote
Phase 1 for the Great River Bridge involves right of way acquisition, which is already underway.   Phase I for the Monticello Bypass is preliminary engineering which involves environmental work.
I don’t believe either project is going to make FY 2010.
(above quote from the "I-69 in AR" thread on Mid-South page)

At any rate, construction of both the I-69 Mississippi River Bridge and the I-69 Ohio River Bridge should give us a new take on the "race of the turtles".  :meh:

edit

For perspective on the $750 million estimate, a July 25, 2010 article provided a cost estimate of $715 million:

Quote
The Interstate 69 bridge’s close proximity to the new U.S. 82 bridge and its price tag — $715 million — raises a question: Why spend money on a new I-69 bridge at Benoit when there is now a completed interstate-grade bridge near Greenville?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 10:01:42 PM by Grzrd »
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cbalducc

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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2012, 04:39:29 PM »

Many years ago, Charles W. Dean (now deceased) proposed a combination road/rail bridge across the Mississippi River near the Bolivar County town of Rosedale, where a port had just been opened.
The I-69 bridge, if built, would cross the river near the town of Benoit, about 12 miles south of Rosedale.  A railroad component would be out of the question, since there is no rail service in Bolivar County anymore, a source of grief for this train lover! :-(

God bless,

CKB
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 10:58:06 AM »

AHTD in the past has informed me that ROW acquisition has already begun for the bridge:
Arkansas 2010-13 STIP, which was released in April, lists a FY 2010 letting for the Charles W. Dean Memorial Bridge over Mississippi River for "Phase I".  The project has an earmark of $8.67 million and the total letting is anticipated to be $10.35 million ...
http://www.arkansashighways.com/stip/Final%20STIP%202010-2013%20%20Web%20Version.pdf
Quote
I-69 Corridor (Hwy. 65-Miss. Rt. 1) (GRB) (Ph I) (F)   069   2010   Phase I    $10,346        $8,666
I recently emailed AHTD to see if these projects were still "on track".  Pertinent part of the reply:
Quote
Phase 1 for the Great River Bridge involves right of way acquisition, which is already underway.   Phase I for the Monticello Bypass is preliminary engineering which involves environmental work.
I don’t believe either project is going to make FY 2010.
(above quote from the "I-69 in AR" thread on Mid-South page)

Since the land acquisition for the bridge had been scheduled for FY 2010, and it had been over one-and-one-half years since my previous email to AHTD on the topic, I once again emailed AHTD and asked if the above project has been rescheduled for a later time.  To sum it up, the project appears to now be on indefinite hold:

Quote
the project is on hold right now

Not surprising, since Arkansas has many more pressing needs.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 05:26:25 PM »

Many years ago, Charles W. Dean (now deceased) proposed a combination road/rail bridge across the Mississippi River near the Bolivar County town of Rosedale, where a port had just been opened.
The I-69 bridge, if built, would cross the river near the town of Benoit, about 12 miles south of Rosedale.  A railroad component would be out of the question, since there is no rail service in Bolivar County anymore, a source of grief for this train lover! :-(
God bless,
CKB

Maybe a rail component is NOT out of the question.  This article indicates that Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is actively working to bring rail service back to Rosedale:

Quote
Bryant stressed the importance of railroad transportation in the Delta to the crowd.
He said he has asked the Mississippi Development Authority to work with railroad users, Mississippi Department of Transportation, the Delta Council, the Wyoming Rail Company and other industries all along the closed rail lines between Greenwood and West Point.
"This is with the interest of reaching the river ports of Greenville and Rosedale. To reopen this 92 mile abandoned stretch of rail will require significant investment," he said. "So I've asked the MDA to proceed with a sense of urgency in identifying opportunities to support reopening this east-west rail corridor to provide rail users on the east side of the state access to these ports on the Miss. river."
(bold emphasis added by me)

I think that there would be pleeeeenty of time to re-design the I-69 bridge if the return of rail service proves to be successful.  :-P
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codyg1985

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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 07:06:09 AM »

Many years ago, Charles W. Dean (now deceased) proposed a combination road/rail bridge across the Mississippi River near the Bolivar County town of Rosedale, where a port had just been opened.
The I-69 bridge, if built, would cross the river near the town of Benoit, about 12 miles south of Rosedale.  A railroad component would be out of the question, since there is no rail service in Bolivar County anymore, a source of grief for this train lover! :-(
God bless,
CKB

Maybe a rail component is NOT out of the question.  This article indicates that Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is actively working to bring rail service back to Rosedale:

Quote
Bryant stressed the importance of railroad transportation in the Delta to the crowd.
He said he has asked the Mississippi Development Authority to work with railroad users, Mississippi Department of Transportation, the Delta Council, the Wyoming Rail Company and other industries all along the closed rail lines between Greenwood and West Point.
"This is with the interest of reaching the river ports of Greenville and Rosedale. To reopen this 92 mile abandoned stretch of rail will require significant investment," he said. "So I've asked the MDA to proceed with a sense of urgency in identifying opportunities to support reopening this east-west rail corridor to provide rail users on the east side of the state access to these ports on the Miss. river."
(bold emphasis added by me)

I think that there would be pleeeeenty of time to re-design the I-69 bridge if the return of rail service proves to be successful.  :-P

It would seem to me that one of the Class I railroads would jump all over the idea of a MS river bridge since it would increase inter-connectivity and since there are no rail bridges on the MS river between Memphis and Vicksburg. However, the article doesn't mention a rail component for the bridge, but instead just for repairing and reopening the stretch of the old Columbus and Greenville railway. I would hope that a river bridge would be considered.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 07:12:01 AM by codyg1985 »
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 02:25:51 PM »

It would seem to me that one of the Class I railroads would jump all over the idea of a MS river bridge since it would increase inter-connectivity and since there are no rail bridges on the MS river between Memphis and Vicksburg.
Railroads like to have a small number of major hubs for efficiency. Except for a unit train (e.g. coal to a power plant) it's not a good idea to bypass those hubs. This is why the Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway never took off as a Chicago bypass.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 03:13:52 PM »

The Great River Bridge is also known as the Charles W. Dean Bridge.  I-69 SIU 12 includes the Charles W. Dean Bridge over the Mississippi River and a short approach from Mississippi.  Here's a map of SIU 12 (which is located primarily in Arkansas).
I don't think anyone is even venturing a guess as to when construction might begin.  The best recent clue that I have seen is from page 9/18 of the I-69 SIU 11 FEIS Executive Summary pdf (page S-9 of the document), in which 2026 is identified as the beginning date for the 22.8 mile section of Section 4 of SIU 11, which is the SIU 11 section that connects to SIU 12 and the bridge:
Quote
Section 4: 22.807 miles, South of SR 446 Interchange to Great River Bridge
Anticipated Letting Date: 2026
...
Arkansas 2010-13 STIP, which was released in April, lists a FY 2010 letting for the Charles W. Dean Memorial Bridge over Mississippi River for "Phase I".  The project has an earmark of $8.67 million and the total letting is anticipated to be $10.35 million.
http://www.arkansashighways.com/stip/Final%20STIP%202010-2013%20%20Web%20Version.pdf
Quote
I-69 Corridor (Hwy. 65-Miss. Rt. 1) (GRB) (Ph I) (F)   069   2010   Phase I    $10,346        $8,666
I once again emailed AHTD and asked if the above project has been rescheduled for a later time.  To sum it up, the project appears to now be on indefinite hold:
Quote
the project is on hold right now

It's no great surprise, but no projects for the I-69 Mississippi River Bridge are included in the Preliminary 2013-16 STIP, and it appears to be on hold at least through 2016. The only I-69 project listed in the Preliminary STIP is for the Monticello Bypass; no SIU 12 projects approaching the bridge are included.
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Rick Powell

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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2012, 03:26:04 PM »

T
Many years ago, Charles W. Dean (now deceased) proposed a combination road/rail bridge across the Mississippi River near the Bolivar County town of Rosedale, where a port had just been opened.
The I-69 bridge, if built, would cross the river near the town of Benoit, about 12 miles south of Rosedale.  A railroad component would be out of the question, since there is no rail service in Bolivar County anymore, a source of grief for this train lover! :-(
God bless,
CKB

Maybe a rail component is NOT out of the question.  This article indicates that Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is actively working to bring rail service back to Rosedale:

Quote
Bryant stressed the importance of railroad transportation in the Delta to the crowd.
He said he has asked the Mississippi Development Authority to work with railroad users, Mississippi Department of Transportation, the Delta Council, the Wyoming Rail Company and other industries all along the closed rail lines between Greenwood and West Point.
"This is with the interest of reaching the river ports of Greenville and Rosedale. To reopen this 92 mile abandoned stretch of rail will require significant investment," he said. "So I've asked the MDA to proceed with a sense of urgency in identifying opportunities to support reopening this east-west rail corridor to provide rail users on the east side of the state access to these ports on the Miss. river."
(bold emphasis added by me)

I think that there would be pleeeeenty of time to re-design the I-69 bridge if the return of rail service proves to be successful.  :-P

It would seem to me that one of the Class I railroads would jump all over the idea of a MS river bridge since it would increase inter-connectivity and since there are no rail bridges on the MS river between Memphis and Vicksburg. However, the article doesn't mention a rail component for the bridge, but instead just for repairing and reopening the stretch of the old Columbus and Greenville railway. I would hope that a river bridge would be considered.

The TIGER II grant application for restoration of C&G RY service included a mention of its being a component of a transcontinental network if rail were added to the Charles Dean bridge.  They also brought out the homeland security aspect of having a RR bridge in place if one or more of the Memphis or Vicksburg bridges were knocked out of service for any reason.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2012, 04:31:39 PM »

The TIGER II grant application for restoration of C&G RY service included a mention of its being a component of a transcontinental network if rail were added to the Charles Dean bridge.  They also brought out the homeland security aspect of having a RR bridge in place if one or more of the Memphis or Vicksburg bridges were knocked out of service for any reason.

This Mississippi State University Analysis that was performed before the Tiger II application also indicates that the C & G would be able to connect to the Union Pacific in McGehee, Arkansas with less than twenty miles of new track (page 9/11 of pdf):

Quote
In addition to facilitating the highway trade flows between Canada and Mexico, the completion of I-69 Charles W. Dean Bridge can significantly impact the railroad freight flow in the United States. The Columbus & Greenville Railway can connect to Union Pacific Railroad at McGehee, Arkansas, to the west with less than 20 miles of new railroad track. To the east, the C&G Railway can connect to Birmingham, Alabama, via the Alabama Southern Railroad and CSXT. After Birmingham, the freight on the C&G Railway can be transferred and go to all major cities on the east coast. This new railroad route will bring competitive freight transportation rates to many railroad freight origin and destination metropolitan areas in the nation. Consequently, it could ensure a healthy railroad transportation industry in the future. There will be enormous primary, secondary, and tertiary impacts on our national economy from this new rail corridor ....

The less than twenty miles of new railroad track that would be required is certainly a lot less than the new terrain I-69 mileage needed in both Mississippi and Arkansas!
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2012, 09:14:29 PM »

They also brought out the homeland security aspect of having a RR bridge in place if one or more of the Memphis or Vicksburg bridges were knocked out of service for any reason.

The thought of al-Qaeda leaders cackling and saying "Yes, our next plan is to blow up a railroad bridge in Mississippi! That'll fix 'em!" is in no way plausible. Sounds like whoever wants this project done is just bullshitting to make the project more appealing.
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codyg1985

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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2012, 03:05:34 PM »

The TIGER II grant application for restoration of C&G RY service included a mention of its being a component of a transcontinental network if rail were added to the Charles Dean bridge.  They also brought out the homeland security aspect of having a RR bridge in place if one or more of the Memphis or Vicksburg bridges were knocked out of service for any reason.

This Mississippi State University Analysis that was performed before the Tiger II application also indicates that the C & G would be able to connect to the Union Pacific in McGehee, Arkansas with less than twenty miles of new track (page 9/11 of pdf):

Quote
In addition to facilitating the highway trade flows between Canada and Mexico, the completion of I-69 Charles W. Dean Bridge can significantly impact the railroad freight flow in the United States. The Columbus & Greenville Railway can connect to Union Pacific Railroad at McGehee, Arkansas, to the west with less than 20 miles of new railroad track. To the east, the C&G Railway can connect to Birmingham, Alabama, via the Alabama Southern Railroad and CSXT. After Birmingham, the freight on the C&G Railway can be transferred and go to all major cities on the east coast. This new railroad route will bring competitive freight transportation rates to many railroad freight origin and destination metropolitan areas in the nation. Consequently, it could ensure a healthy railroad transportation industry in the future. There will be enormous primary, secondary, and tertiary impacts on our national economy from this new rail corridor ....

The less than twenty miles of new railroad track that would be required is certainly a lot less than the new terrain I-69 mileage needed in both Mississippi and Arkansas!

I wonder how the east end would play out? Norfolk Southern used to have a line from Columbus east to Birmingham via Fayette and Parrish, but parts of that line were abandoned in the late 1990's. The western portion of it operates as a short-line railroad.

There is also the former KCS line (now Alabama Southern) going out of Columbus east to Tuscaloosa which interchanges with NS in Tuscaloosa and CSX in Brookwood.
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2012, 10:09:12 PM »

They also brought out the homeland security aspect of having a RR bridge in place if one or more of the Memphis or Vicksburg bridges were knocked out of service for any reason.

The thought of al-Qaeda leaders cackling and saying "Yes, our next plan is to blow up a railroad bridge in Mississippi! That'll fix 'em!" is in no way plausible. Sounds like whoever wants this project done is just bullshitting to make the project more appealing.

It's not so much al-Qaeda that concerns some people, but the flow of freight through this region.  Should a barge break loose & wipe out the bridge @ Vicksburg (which happens to be the only rail crossing the big muddy between Memphis & Baton Rouge!), or old age catches up with any of the bridges, it would keep congestion down in Memphis or BR should they have to close the Vicksburg bridge.

I, also being a railfan & rail employee, would love to see some abandoned rail R.O.W. come back to life.    :cheers:
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 11:48:08 PM by cjk374 »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 10:52:10 AM »

Maybe a rail component is NOT out of the question.  This article indicates that Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is actively working to bring rail service back to Rosedale:
Quote
To reopen this 92 mile abandoned stretch of rail will require significant investment," he said. "So I've asked the MDA to proceed with a sense of urgency in identifying opportunities to support reopening this east-west rail corridor to provide rail users on the east side of the state access to these ports on the Miss. river."
This Mississippi State University Analysis that was performed before the Tiger II application also indicates that the C & G would be able to connect to the Union Pacific in McGehee, Arkansas with less than twenty miles of new track (page 9/11 of pdf):
Quote
... the completion of I-69 Charles W. Dean Bridge can significantly impact the railroad freight flow in the United States. The Columbus & Greenville Railway can connect to Union Pacific Railroad at McGehee, Arkansas, to the west with less than 20 miles of new railroad track.
I, also being a railfan & rail employee, would love to see some abandoned rail R.O.W. come back to life.

This article discusses rail on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River.  It discusses a resurgence in rail, rail banks to preserve rail in Arkansas, the new federal requirement for rail to be included in state transportation plans, and how the Panama Canal expansion might impact both highway and rail freight transportation in that part of the country:

Quote
Earlier this month, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission hosted a workshop to address rail access in the state with economic developers in the state.
Among the many who attended were Monticello Economic Development Commission director Nita McDaniel ....
McDaniel said there were several items addressed at the workshop, and there will be more like it in the future as the state and the nation shift back to using railway more to ship more goods cross country in an effort to sayve money.
Of the items discussed,  McDaniel said she was glad to see rail banking addressed because not too long ago there was a movement pushing to pull up the railway instead of preserving it for the future.
“Rail banking is when the state comes in and tells the rail company or whoever wants to pull the rail up that they need to leave it alone,” McDaniel said. “It’s saving the rails in Arkansas.” ....
“Shipping by truck is so expensive these days that businesses and industries are going back to the rail,” McDaniel said.
Another issue discussed at the workshop was the federal government’s requirement for the state to include a rail plan in the state’s transpiration [sic] plan. The mandate will be that each state much create a plan to improve rail transportation for both freight and passenger train.
“This rail plan will be a requirement in order for each state to be eligible for federal grants,” McDaniel said. “If they don’t include the plans as required in the time indicated, they won’t qualify for federal grants. This is the first time ever the state has been required to include rail in its transportation plans.”
John Lipton, chairman of the Southeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority, also knows the importance of rail access ....
“Rail is very important to what we trying to do,” Lipton said.
Lipton said the location of the facility on Highway 278 East was due to the access to the railway Interstate 530 and future Interstate 69. ....
The entire concept behind the intermodal facility brings rail, highway transportation and the use of the Mississippi River together to get items shipped from one place to another.
“We expect the Mississippi River to be used to ship items north once the Panama Canal opens to larger ships,” Lipton said.
“Facilities like ours will be used to send goods east or west by rail or truck.”

If there is actually a trend back to rail for cross-country freight transportation, then adding a rail component to the I-69 Charles W. Dean Bridge might make increasing sense.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 11:04:07 AM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2013, 12:27:57 AM »

Is this bridge going to be a drawbridge?

Looks nice though.
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 12:50:14 AM »

They also brought out the homeland security aspect of having a RR bridge in place if one or more of the Memphis or Vicksburg bridges were knocked out of service for any reason.
al-Qaeda
No, more like the New Madrid fault. (and barge crashes as stated above)
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2013, 08:13:13 PM »

In the February 13, 2012 article, Some imagine Chester Street for new bridge, Scott Bennett, the director of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, gave a current estimate of $750 million for construction of the Great River Bridge .... The Great River Bridge is also known as the Charles W. Dean Bridge.

Atkins North America has completed its I-69 Innovative Financing Study Final Findings and the Executive Summary.  In the Final Findings, it is noted that the I-69 Mississippi River Bridge is essentially ready to begin construction once funding for it is identified (page 9/122 of pdf; page 4 of document):



The Final Findings conclude that, in addition to tolls and other bonding mechanisms, significant federal financial assistance will be needed (page 50/122 of pdf; page 45 of document):

Quote
... it appears that significant Federal assistance will be required to advance development of the I‐69 corridor, particularly given the high cost of the bridges across the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers that are keys to ensuring connectivity throughout the corridor. This report identifies several FHWA funding programs that could potentially be used to support development of the corridor.

In order to best position I-69 (including the Mississippi River Bridge) for future federal funding the Final Findings suggest that the project should be included in the respective freight plans of Arkansas and Mississippi (page 18/122 of pdf; page 13 of document):

Quote
Section 1116 of MAP‐21 includes provisions for development of a freight plan .... the Secretary may increase the Federal share payable for any project to 95 percent for projects on the Interstate System and 90 percent for any other project if the Secretary certifies that the project meets the requirements of this section .... The potential for increased Federal participation could be beneficial for all I‐69 segments, but particularly bridge segments that are high cost and for which funding for the entire segment must be available before any construction can be initiated ... the states should coordinate with FHWA to ensure that I‐69 is included in the Freight Plan to better position themselves for a reduced State match under MAP‐21 and future funding programs.

The Final Findings also suggest that AHTD and MDOT coordinate with FHWA to designate I-69 (including the Mississippi River Bridge) as a Project of National and Regional Significance (pp. 17-18 of pdf; pp. 12-13 of document):

Quote
Section 1120 of MAP‐21 states the following:
Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the MAP‐21, the Secretary shall submit a report to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate regarding projects of national and regional significance.”
The report must include a comprehensive list of each project of national and regional significance that has been compiled through a survey of State DOTs .... to improve the opportunity for Federal funding of I‐69 segments under both the current and future versions of this program, each state represented in this study should contact FHWA to ensure that they are involved in the process and provide the documentation necessary to support FHWA’s determination that I‐69 warrants a position on the list based on the requirements identified above.

If federal money does become available in the future, at least this project is "shovel ready".



The TIGER II grant application for restoration of C&G RY service included a mention of its being a component of a transcontinental network if rail were added to the Charles Dean bridge.  They also brought out the homeland security aspect of having a RR bridge in place if one or more of the Memphis or Vicksburg bridges were knocked out of service for any reason.
This Mississippi State University Analysis that was performed before the Tiger II application also indicates that the C & G would be able to connect to the Union Pacific in McGehee, Arkansas with less than twenty miles of new track (page 9/11 of pdf)
Railroads like to have a small number of major hubs for efficiency. Except for a unit train (e.g. coal to a power plant) it's not a good idea to bypass those hubs.

The Final Findings do not discuss the possibility of adding a rail component to the bridge.

edit

Revised post to include links to the Final Findings and the Executive Summary.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 10:35:09 AM by Grzrd »
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CanesFan27

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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2013, 11:40:03 AM »

"It is also suggested that AHTD and MDOT coordinate with FHWA to designate I-69 (including the Mississippi River Bridge) as a Project of National and Regional Significance:"

Be interesting if they will then apply for TIGER IV (TIGER 2013) funding.  NCDOT made the case that the new I-85 bridge was of national and regional importance (including renaming the bridge) in order to get some TIGER funds for its eventual and current construction.
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2013, 10:48:47 AM »

Atkins North America has completed its I-69 Innovative Financing Study Final Findings and the Executive Summary.  In the Final Findings, it is noted that the I-69 Mississippi River Bridge is essentially ready to begin construction once funding for it is identified (page 9/122 of pdf; page 4 of document) .... In order to best position I-69 (including the Mississippi River Bridge) for future federal funding the Final Findings suggest that the project should be included in the respective freight plans of Arkansas and Mississippi (page 18/122 of pdf; page 13 of document) .... The Final Findings also suggest that AHTD and MDOT coordinate with FHWA to designate I-69 (including the Mississippi River Bridge) as a Project of National and Regional Significance (pp. 17-18 of pdf; pp. 12-13 of document) .... If federal money does become available in the future, at least this project is "shovel ready".
Be interesting if they will then apply for TIGER IV (TIGER 2013) funding
AHTD has posted the PowerPoint presentation for the May 21 Southeast Arkansas Cornerstone Coalition banquet.
(bottom quote from I-69 in AR (and Pine Bluff I-69 Connector/AR 530) thread)

Page 42/49 of the May 21 Southeast Arkansas Cornerstone Coalition banquet PowerPoint pdf is a slide of the I-69 Great River Bridge:



Although I suspected that nothing new had been presented about the I-69 Mississippi River Bridge at the banquet, I went ahead and emailed AHTD about the talking points associated with the slide.  Not surprisingly, the response:

Quote
It was merely a reminder that it’s planned for the future and we needs lots of money to make it happen.

No announcement of a TIGER funding request.  As a minor point, the slide demonstrates that AHTD refers to the bridge as the I-69 Great River Bridge instead of as the Charles W. Dean Bridge.
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2013, 04:27:36 PM »

Maybe a rail component is NOT out of the question.  This article indicates that Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is actively working to bring rail service back to Rosedale:
Quote
Bryant stressed the importance of railroad transportation in the Delta to the crowd.
He said he has asked the Mississippi Development Authority to work with ... the Delta Council ... and other industries all along the closed rail lines between Greenwood and West Point.
"This is with the interest of reaching the river ports of Greenville and Rosedale. To reopen this 92 mile abandoned stretch of rail will require significant investment," he said. "So I've asked the MDA to proceed with a sense of urgency in identifying opportunities to support reopening this east-west rail corridor to provide rail users on the east side of the state access to these ports on the Miss. river."
This Mississippi State University Analysis that was performed before the Tiger II application also indicates that the C & G would be able to connect to the Union Pacific in McGehee, Arkansas with less than twenty miles of new track (page 9/11 of pdf):
Quote
the completion of I-69 Charles W. Dean Bridge can significantly impact the railroad freight flow in the United States. The Columbus & Greenville Railway can connect to Union Pacific Railroad at McGehee, Arkansas, to the west with less than 20 miles of new railroad track.

This article (behind paywall) reports on recent efforts by the Delta Council.  It mentions that the Delta Council was part of the successful lobbying effort for the completion of I-269.  Otherwise, it does not expressly mention the remainder of I-69 in Mississippi, but it does report on a current effort to restore “broken links” in rail transport between Greenville and West Point:

Quote
While the Delta Council continues to emphasize agriculture — given that “if you look at the GDP of the Delta, there has never been a time when agriculture wasn’t a large component,” Chip Morgan, the group’s current executive vice president, recently noted — the organization, which comprises all or most of 18 Mississippi counties and represents the interest of 3,700 dues-paying members, now also pushes for enhanced education, health care, transportation and, given the area’s topography, flood control, among other issues important to the area ....
Efforts to enhance road transportation have proven more successful than bids to fill gaps in rail systems.
The Delta Council successfully lobbied, with others, to secure financing to complete the Interstate 269 Memphis, Tenn., bypass, which, when completed, will tie into several major highways leading north out of Mississippi: Interstate 55 and U.S. highways 61 and 78, the latter of which is expected to be completed into Birmingham, Ala., in late 2014, when it will be designated Interstate 22.
The council, however, remains concerned about legislative failures to secure future funds to maintain roadways.
Morgan noted that the Mississippi Legislature, in a recent highway appropriation, approved only construction funding, not maintenance dollars ....
That’s why, the council’s stated policy insists, in Morgan’s words, “maintenance funding has to be written into the laws” authorizing new highway construction ....
the Delta Council is working to restore “broken links” in rail transport between Greenville and West Point.

As with the remainder of I-69 in Mississippi, there is no express mention of the I-69 Mississippi River Bridge in the article, but there is still a possibility that a rail component could later come into play.
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2014, 05:26:31 PM »

We received a request for the following subject documents and thought we'd share with everyone.
 
I-69 Mississippi River Crossing Final Environmental Impact Statement (100MB)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/GRB_FEIS.pdf
 
I-69 Mississippi River Crossing FEIS Record of Decision (634kb)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/GRB_ROD.pdf
 
ENJOY!
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2014, 06:44:15 AM »

I believe these "broken rail links" mentioned is the former Columbus & Greenville Railroad (CAGY) IIRC.  I have a friend who used to run trains between West Point & Greenville.  He told me there used to be lots of pulpwood yards between these towns, but the railroad insisted on more money to haul it.  That turned the woodyards to using trucks, so the CAGY shut their western end down.
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2014, 06:55:00 AM »

I believe these "broken rail links" mentioned is the former Columbus & Greenville Railroad (CAGY) IIRC.  I have a friend who used to run trains between West Point & Greenville.  He told me there used to be lots of pulpwood yards between these towns, but the railroad insisted on more money to haul it.  That turned the woodyards to using trucks, so the CAGY shut their western end down.

Norfolk Southern used to have a line between Birmingham and Columbus, MS which fed into the CAGY. A portion of this line between Berry, AL and Belk, AL was abandoned in the mid 1990's. A cotton mill in Fayette, AL was served by this line, along with various lumber yards west of there. The portion of the line between Belk and Columbus is now a short line railroad called the Luxapalila Valley Railroad. If NS would have kept the line and invested in keeping up the CAGY, then perhaps we could be talking about a rail bridge over the Mississippi River to connect to the UPRR, perhaps as part of the I-69 crossing, but now none of it seems likely. I believe at one time when the CAGY was built a MS River bridge was considered but never happened.
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2014, 01:44:56 PM »

Many years ago, Charles W. Dean (now deceased) proposed a combination road/rail bridge across the Mississippi River near the Bolivar County town of Rosedale, where a port had just been opened.
The TIGER II grant application for restoration of C&G RY service included a mention of its being a component of a transcontinental network if rail were added to the Charles Dean bridge.  They also brought out the homeland security aspect of having a RR bridge in place if one or more of the Memphis or Vicksburg bridges were knocked out of service for any reason.
This article discusses rail on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River.  It discusses a resurgence in rail, rail banks to preserve rail in Arkansas, the new federal requirement for rail to be included in state transportation plans, and how the Panama Canal expansion might impact both highway and rail freight transportation in that part of the country:
Quote
the state and the nation shift back to using railway more to ship more goods cross country in an effort to sayve money. ....
“Shipping by truck is so expensive these days that businesses and industries are going back to the rail,” McDaniel said.
Lipton said the location of the facility on Highway 278 East was due to the access to the railway Interstate 530 and future Interstate 69. ....
The entire concept behind the intermodal facility brings rail, highway transportation and the use of the Mississippi River together to get items shipped from one place to another.

“We expect the Mississippi River to be used to ship items north once the Panama Canal opens to larger ships,” Lipton said.
“Facilities like ours will be used to send goods east or west by rail or truck.”
I-69 Mississippi River Crossing Final Environmental Impact Statement (100MB)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/GRB_FEIS.pdf
 I-69 Mississippi River Crossing FEIS Record of Decision (634kb)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/GRB_ROD.pdf

AHTD, thank you for posting the FEIS and ROD. Great historical info!

The FEIS notes that, prior to the I-69 bridge project, an Environmental Impact Study had been completed for a combination highway/rail bridge along the same general corridor (page 3/556 of pdf; page S-2 of document):



The rail component did not survive the I-69 bridge FEIS and ROD (I think).

Given that approximately ten years have passed since the FEIS for the I-69 bridge was completed and Mississippi is making (distant) noises about reviving the C & G, has there been any interest from Arkansas (AHTD and/or Union Pacific) and/or communication with MDOT to revisit the possibility of having a rail component on the bridge?

Also, will you please post the initial GRB EIS that includes the rail component?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 02:23:45 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2014, 04:16:45 PM »

Preliminary Engineering and Economic Assessment Report of the Feasibility for Providing a new Mississippi River Crossing (98MB)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/GRB_Prelim.pdf  This is the earliest report we located.
 
Also, found another FEIS that was completed for the GRB in 2000 (39MB).
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/GRB_FEIS_2000.pdf
 
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Re: I-69 Mississippi River Bridge
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2014, 06:11:03 PM »

Many years ago, Charles W. Dean (now deceased) proposed a combination road/rail bridge across the Mississippi River near the Bolivar County town of Rosedale, where a port had just been opened.
The TIGER II grant application for restoration of C&G RY service included a mention of its being a component of a transcontinental network if rail were added to the Charles Dean bridge.  They also brought out the homeland security aspect of having a RR bridge in place if one or more of the Memphis or Vicksburg bridges were knocked out of service for any reason.
This article discusses rail on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River.  It discusses a resurgence in rail, rail banks to preserve rail in Arkansas, the new federal requirement for rail to be included in state transportation plans, and how the Panama Canal expansion might impact both highway and rail freight transportation in that part of the country:
Quote
the state and the nation shift back to using railway more to ship more goods cross country in an effort to sayve money. ....
“Shipping by truck is so expensive these days that businesses and industries are going back to the rail,” McDaniel said.
Lipton said the location of the facility on Highway 278 East was due to the access to the railway Interstate 530 and future Interstate 69. ....
The entire concept behind the intermodal facility brings rail, highway transportation and the use of the Mississippi River together to get items shipped from one place to another.

“We expect the Mississippi River to be used to ship items north once the Panama Canal opens to larger ships,” Lipton said.
“Facilities like ours will be used to send goods east or west by rail or truck.”
I-69 Mississippi River Crossing Final Environmental Impact Statement (100MB)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/GRB_FEIS.pdf
 I-69 Mississippi River Crossing FEIS Record of Decision (634kb)
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/GRB_ROD.pdf

AHTD, thank you for posting the FEIS and ROD. Great historical info!

The FEIS notes that, prior to the I-69 bridge project, an Environmental Impact Study had been completed for a combination highway/rail bridge along the same general corridor (page 3/556 of pdf; page S-2 of document):



The rail component did not survive the I-69 bridge FEIS and ROD (I think).

Given that approximately ten years have passed since the FEIS for the I-69 bridge was completed and Mississippi is making (distant) noises about reviving the C & G, has there been any interest from Arkansas (AHTD and/or Union Pacific) and/or communication with MDOT to revisit the possibility of having a rail component on the bridge?

Also, will you please post the initial GRB EIS that includes the rail component?

Indeed a rail component was considered at one time, but as a separate PARALLEL structure. That's right! TWO cable-stays side-by-side.

Here is the profile of the railroad structure:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/GRB_Railroad_01.pdf
 
Here is the alignment next to the Great River Bridge:
http://www.arkansashighways.com/forums/GRB_Railroad_02.pdf
 
 
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