2008 Build Alabama Award
After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
closed the Mississippi River outlet to deep-draft shipping. That meant International Shipholding
Corporation had to quickly relocate the only U.S.-to-Mexico rail car ferry terminal.
Reconstruction of the New Orleans facility included intermodal railroad relocation,
geometry changes to ASD Boulevard, storm water management and the construction of the elevated
railroad deck, plus on-grade rails and bridges. In order to reestablish rail ferry service
as soon as possible, construction had to begin long before design could be completed. And crews
worked seven days a week.
Coordination was essential from the start. During site clearing, more than 500 timber
piles and over 100 Raymond piles had to be removed. But removal required pipe piles (handled
by a separate contractor) to be driven to a greater depth. Previously fabricated material had
to be retrofitted to fit the new geometry. Ten sixty-ton loading ramps as well as several thousand
tons of additional steel and construction materials had to be moved to Mobile, Cooperation
with other contractors and the Alabama State Port Authority established the new CGR
Ferry system on time and enhanced with a hydraulic ramp lifting system.