Norfolk Southern Heartland Corridor Cited In National Engineering Competition

The Milburn, N.J.-based team of Hatch Mott MacDonald; STV; HDR, Inc.; and Anderson & Associates is a finalist in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 45th annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition for the Norfolk Southern Railroad’s Heartland Corridor Project at locations in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.

To help Norfolk Southern meet the growing need for rapid transport of consumer goods, the project team undertook a multifaceted upgrade of rail infrastructure along a 1,031-mile route between Norfolk, Va., and Chicago, Ill. By increasing height clearances at 28 tunnels and seven through-truss bridges, trains will be able to transport double-stacked container cars, thereby increasing their capacity and speed.

Nearly six miles of tunnels were modified by excavating roofs and entryways, and lowering track levels. A variety of innovative construction methods were applied to expedite construction with minimal disruption to current train traffic. Along with improving the rail infrastructure, the Heartland Corridor project opens the door to economic development opportunities for communities along the route.

The project is among 161 engineering projects from throughout the nation recognized by ACEC as preeminent engineering achievements for 2010.  Judging for the Engineering Excellence Awards—known as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry”—took place in February, conducted by a panel of more than 30 engineers, architects, government representatives, media members, and academics. Criteria for awards include uniqueness and originality, technical, social and economic value, complexity, and success of the projects in meeting goals.

All winners, including 16 Honor Awards, eight Grand Awards and the “Grand Conceptor Award” for best overall engineering achievement, will be recognized at the Engineering Excellence Awards Gala, to be held Friday, April 1, 2011, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing more than 5,000  independent engineering companies throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities.   Founded in 1909 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 51 state and regional organizations.

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