Muskingum Valley Line Relocations
(Ohio) 1936 - B&O, Erie, PRR, W&LE
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53 Miles of Railway Relocated in Ohio Flood-Control Project
Rapid progress is being made on nine route changes required at flood reservoir sites in Muskingum valley
By far the largest program of railway line construction that has been in progress during the last year is embraced in the relocations made necessary by the flood control work in the Muskingum valley in
Embraces a Large Area
The Muskingum valley drainage basin extends from
Part of the Muskingum Water Shed Showing the Reservoir Sites and the Railway Relocations
It embraces about one-fifth of the area of
This plan provided for the financing of construction through the levying of benefit assessments against property in the district, but an application for federal assistance resulted in the allocation, in December of that year, of $22,090,000 of funds of the Public Works Administration to the Corps of Engineers of the United States War Department for the design and construction of flood-control and water-conservation reservoirs, and all other construction except the relocation of highways. The conservancy district assumed the cost of all land and rights of way required and the expense of the highway work, but the latter was later taken over by the state highway department, and the state also appropriated $2,000,000 to aid in the acquisition of lands, leaving about $6,000,000 to be raised by the levying of assessments against property within the district. The total cost of the project is estimated at about $37,000,000.
As shown on the map, the project embraces 14 reservoirs located mainly near the headwaters of the various tributary streams. However, only seven of these affect railway property. These reservoirs, the railway lines involved and the mileages in each relocation are shown in the table. In addition to the 10 relocations, 2 lines were abandoned, and the relocation of 1.6 miles of another line was avoided by arranging for joint use of one relocation by two roads. The official plan also contemplated the relocation of 1.45 miles of the Pennsylvania's Marietta branch where the track is a few feet below water level in the Bolivar reservoir, but inasmuch as it is estimated that this line will not be flooded more than once in 100 years, a settlement was made with the railway in lieu of a relocation.
A general description of this railway project was presented in an article by Gilbert H. Friend, senior engineer and chief of the railroad section, U. S. Engineer office,
Character of the Relocations
As the sites chosen for the reservoirs were necessarily those that provided the maximum storage capacity for the least expenditure for dams, the terrain in the vicinity of the dams is generally characterized by deep valleys, often with steep side slopes, but with less pronounced differences in elevation and flatter slopes in the upper reaches of the areas that will be inundated. Consequently the character of the country encountered at the site of the several relocations is subject to wide variations.
In most cases, the procedure was to find support for the relocated line higher up on the valley sides, so that a considerable part of the construction is sidehill work. This is not true in all cases, however. For example, lines crossing the valleys have had to be raised on high embankments, and this expedient has been adopted also where a relocation providing natural support would have involved too wide a detour from the original location.
In general, the policy adopted in laying out and constructing the relocations was to select lines that will provide, as nearly as possible, the equivalent of the lines replaced. It has been readily possible to avoid any grades in excess of the ruling grades on the lines affected and, in most cases, the distance and curvature on the new lines are less than on the old lines. The maximum degree of curvature on the new lines is four degrees, except one curve of five degrees in the Wills Creek tunnel, referred to later, and a curve of six degrees on the
Map of the
Avoid Extraordinary Maintenance
The roadbed width (single track) is 20 ft. on embankments and 26 ft. in cuts, except in the relocation of a minor branch line of the B. & O. on the
Map Showing the Relocations in the Vicinity of Valley Junction in the
At the beginning of the negotiations, the railroad companies were inclined to stress claims for extraordinary maintenance, which were based on the increased cost of maintaining newly-constructed roadbeds. However, this difficulty was largely removed by requiring that the embankments shall be constructed in one-foot layers and each layer thoroughly compacted by rolling with an approved type of power-driven roller. The specifications provide that if satisfactory compaction is obtained by the operation of tractor haulage and spreading equipment, the use of the roller may be dispensed with. As a matter of fact, the contractors have made extensive use of large capacity trucks, tractors and crawler wagons, including, also, some of the tractor-hauled LeTourneau carts, while bulldozers mounted on tractors are employed for spreading material. Excellent compaction is being thereby generally obtained without the use of special rol1ers. Because of these measures to insure solidification, no excess height was added to the fills to provide for shrinkage, although the width at roadbed level was increased one foot to allow for sloughing. A railroad crossing was provided with a concrete slab support under the ballast.
Character of Materials
The materials encountered in the railway locations embrace everything from shales, sandstones and limestones of the carboniferous period to deposits of glacial sands and gravels in the bottoms of the valleys. Narrow seams of coal were exposed in not a few of the cuts. The hardest rock excavation was involved in the Wheeling & Lake Erie's
A Construction View of
Driving the Fluted Shells for Cast-in-Place Concrete Piles
Most of the material excavated from cuts was of a nature that formed stable embankments. Slides in cuts introduced a much more serious problem. For example, in the vicinity of the dam on the
All grading contracts were awarded on the basis of a single unit price per cubic yard, unclassified, with 3,000 ft. of free haul, bidders basing their estimates on test-boring records furnished with the invitations. As a matter of fact, under the exacting requirements imposed in the awarding of government work, the information finished to bidders was necessarily far more complete than that which ordinarily suffices all railroad work. In addition to complete profiles, alignment maps, and specifications, the data supplied included detail plans of all bridges, buildings, water supply facilities, etc., including even drawings of the track fastenings.
Crawler-Mounted Equipment Is Used Extensively in the Grading
The grading is being prosecuted on an intensive scale. For example, in a typical month (May, 1936), 506,000 cu. yd. of material was moved, or more than 10 per cent of the total yardage involved in the railway work. The equipment employed during that month on the nine grading contracts embraced 15 power shovels, 9 scoops, 7 cranes, 1 excavating grader and 2 drag lines.
Track work is all done by contract except where it interferes with train operation and except for the track changes involved in cutting in the relocated lines. This work is being done by railway forces and the expense billed against the project authority. The practice with respect to track materials is, for the most part, as follows: The railroads furnish rails, rail joints, tie plates, rail anchors, frogs, switches and guard rails for application on the relocated lines in exchange for the equivalent materials taken up on the lines that are to be abandoned. The project authority furnishes new spikes, bolts, ties and ballast. The tracks are all ballasted with washed and crushed gravel containing not less than 15 to 20 per cent of crushed material.
The bridges include beam spans up to 30 ft. in length, plate girder spans lip to 125 ft. long, and one 150-ft. through truss span. With the exception of a bridge on the main line of the
Another noteworthy feature embodied in many of the structures is the use of metal-encased, cast-in-place reinforced-concrete piles, both as foundation piles (where the cut-off is above ground water level) and as bents in beam-span trestle structures. The casing of these piles is a fluted shell of 7-gage steel, 8 in. in diameter at the tip and with a taper that provides a diameter of 18 in. at the butt of a 40-ft. pile. Provided with a heavy steel point, these shells, manufactured by the Union Metal Products Company,
Temporary Trestle to Carry W. & L E, Relocated Line Over B. & O. Line to Be Abandoned
These piles have been used in four highway undercrossings and several stream crossings, Usually in three span structures. Single bents of six-piles each are used for the intermediate supports, with two rows of piles in the end bents, the inner row of piles being battered. At the stipulation of the engineers for the railways, exposed piles have been encased above the ground level in a shell of concrete four inches thick.
Except in the case of the
An Example of One of the Larger Stream Crossings
The relocated lines of both the
Wills Creek Reservoir
Since the portion of the B. & O. line that will be submerged serves almost entirely as a connection with the W. & L. E., and because the Pennsylvania relocation between Mineral City and Valley Junction affords the most direct connection with the W. & L. E., and the further fact that the traffic on both the Pennsylvania and B. & O. lines is light, arrangements have been made for the joint ownership and operation of this line from Mineral City to Valley Junction by the two roads. The old low-level interchange yard at Valley Junction is being replaced by a new yard just north of the Pennsylvania-W. & L. E. crossing, that will consist of four 4,000 ft. tracks, in addition to a passing track and a wye for turning B. & O. locomotives.
This yard is provided with water service from a reservoir on the W. & L. E. at Dewey, one mile to the north, where a new intake well is being-provided in addition to a new tank and a 14-in. pipe line to the new yard. A water column is also being provided at the crossing for delivery to
The reservoir to be created by the dam across Wills creek will inundate 8.25 miles of the Pennsylvania’s Marietta branch, all of this mileage being embraced in a hairpin loop around a shoulder in the east side of the valley. This loop line was built years ago after a tunnel through the ridge had been rendered unusable by a fire that destroyed the timber lining. As this old tunnel line is above pool level in the reservoir, some consideration was given to the salvaging of the old tunnel, but because of the extreme uncertainties regarding the cost of this plan it was abandoned in favor of a line embracing a tunnel crossing farther to the east that effects a greater saving in distance--the relocation has a length of 3.25 miles compared with 8.25 miles around the loop, and is responsible for a reduction of 260 deg. of curvature.
Outline Drawing of a Typical Bridge Abutment
The tunnel is 750 ft. long on a 5 deg. curve, with approach grades of 0.9 per cent and 1.0 per cent from the south and north respectively, the lighter grade opposing the direction of loaded movement. These grades arc appreciably heavier than those on the abandoned line but are considerably less than those on other portions of this line. The tunnel is in shale that had to be supported as the headings were advanced; in fact, it was necessary to drive wall-plate headings for a considerable distance from each portal before reaching ground that was sufficiently stable to permit the use of the full top heading method. The timber lining that was placed as the headings were advanced was set with sufficient clearance to permit the immediate placing of a concrete lining.
The Muskingum valley project, except for real estate acquisition and highway relocations, is entirely under the direction of Lieut. Col. J. D. Arthur, Tr., district engineer, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army. T. T. Knappen, senior engineer, is chief of the engineering division, and Gilbert H. Friend, senior engineer, is chief of the railroad section. For purposes of administration, the district is divided into four areas, each under the direction of an area engineer. Each dam project and each of the railway relocations is under a resident engineer.
The various relocations are being handled as individual contracts covering all work required for the completion of the relocations ready for operation, other than the fabrication and erection of the steel bridge superstructures, which are being done by the
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