Construction of the new BNSF railroad bridge across Lake Pend Oreille is proceeding on schedule. Pile driving has been substantially completed over the lake, and construction crews are starting to install pier caps and bridge girders. During these last summer days, BNSF reminds boaters and recreationists to avoid the construction area and provide a wide berth to equipment on the lake.
The new bridge will allow for more fluid rail traffic management through the corridor, and it will allow traffic to continue to flow while BNSF performs its regularly planned inspection and maintenance of the bridges. With this in mind, BNSF has identified maintenance work to occur once the new bridge is operational, estimated for 2023-2024.
BNSF plans to replace eight bridge spans on the existing bridge using the existing work trestle at Dog Beach. This will eliminate the need to construct a second work trestle strictly dedicated to supporting the maintenance work. BNSF has applied for a permit from the U.S. Coast Guard to cover this activity and is working closely with state and federal regulatory agencies to ensure the highest levels of environmental protection.