Metropolis Rail Bridge


Ames Construction rebuilt the south approach to the century-old Metropolis Bridge, a rail bridge that spans the Ohio River between Illinois and Kentucky. The project required replacing substructure and superstructure elements while maintaining rail traffic.

Ames replaced the bridge’s original timber foundations with new cast-in-place concrete foundations. The partial replacement of the bridge substructure included three H-pile bents and three micropile concrete foundations.

The bridge superstructure was partially replaced with three precast concrete spans. Ames assisted with track replacement during change-out by hoisting 60-foot track panels into place for the railroad.

With the project located on densely forested wetlands in the Ohio River floodplain, access to the site was difficult, and Ames took several precautions during construction to minimize the project’s impact on the environment. To gain crane access to the bridge above the floodplain, thousands of cubic yards of material were brought to the site for temporary embankment and removed when the work was complete.

The project team coordinated daily with the project owner, BNSF Railway, and with CN Railway, which owns the property the bridge is on and operates the bridge jointly with BNSF. These efforts ensured that the project progressed without delays.

Learn more: Metropolis Rail Bridge

Markets: Railroad

Location: McCracken County, Kentucky

Client: BNSF Railway

Completion: July 2017


  • Structural concrete