Ames Construction Wins NRC 2023 Large Construction Project of the Year Award

The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) has awarded Ames Construction with the 2023 Large Project of the Year award for its work on the Sandpoint Junction Connector project in Sandpoint, Idaho.

"Ames successfully addressed significant access and environmental challenges to complete the complex, three-year project in Sandpoint, Idaho, 14 months ahead of the owner’s schedule," said NRC President Ashley Wieland in presenting the award.

The Sandpoint Junction Connector Project added a second rail bridge over Lake Pend Oreille adjacent to the existing rail bridge, as well as new bridges over Sand Creek and Bridge Street. These infrastructure improvements have enhanced freight movement in the region by enabling trains to run in both directions across the bridges and reducing congestion and environmental impact in Sandpoint.

BNSF Site Project Manager Ryan Kopera describes Ames as a “dedicated contractor partner” that helped “make the project a success through on-time performance, effective cost control, and communications when changes occurred.”

Ames drew upon its innovative construction practices and relevant project experience, including knowledge of environmental impacts and work in marine conditions, to produce benefits for the owner, its employees, and jobsite partners. Key factors contributing to the project’s success include using barges to build the bridge across Lake Pend Oreille rather than the permitted temporary bridge, planning to identify innovative ways to execute the work and lower costs, and engineering-out hazards to create a safe and positive work environment.

Congratulations to the following major contractors and suppliers for contributing to the success of the project:

Contractors: Garco Construction, Noble Excavating, Tristate Rebar, and Kasco of Idaho

Suppliers: Trinity Products, LLC (pipe pile); Knife River (pre-cast); RTI Fabrication (structural steel); Northwest Steel Fabricators (structural steel)

What our members say…

NRC conference attendees gain first-hand perspectives from chief engineers about engineering and capital plans for all the Class 1 and major short line railroads as well as large passenger rail and transit authorities. Those who attend consistently say the interaction and level of detail shared during these presentations are invaluable.

Steve Bolte

Vice President, Business Development North America

Danella Companies

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