Skip to Content

CSX Bayou Sara Swing Span Replacement

This accelerated bridge construction project included replacing a 100-year-old railroad swing span bridge on Bayou Sara, just off the Mobile River, to minimize maintenance and allow for remote operation. Accessible only by boat or train, the Bayou Sara Bridge Span in Mobile, Alabama, is exactly where the name suggests: the bayou. Located in a remote, difficult-to-access area, the project involved logistical challenges associated with working on the water. In addition, it was critical that the rail service interruption be limited to only 14 hours during the construction phase.

The work included off-site preassembly of a new 550,000 lb structural steel through-girder bridge, which included track work, hydraulics, electrical power, bridge controls, and bridge-operating machinery. During a 14-hour planned railroad outage, the existing span and top portion of the existing swing pier were removed and replaced with a new structural machinery grillage and the new swing span. A new cast-in-place pier cap was then poured to complete the swing pier modifications.


CSX Transportation Inc.


National ABC Excellence in Construction Eagle Award

ABC Alabama Excellence in Construction Award

AGC BuildSouth Award

Best Accelerated Bridge Construction Project - Prefab Bridge Elements & Systems

National ACEC Engineering Excellence Honor Award

ACEC-NJ Chapter Honor Award - Large Project

NSBA Merit Award - Moveable Span

AISC Movable Bridge Merit Award (Prize Bridge Award)

"Even though the outage was shifted ahead to start three hours early with no notice, Brasfield & Gorrie's response to these challenges culminated in a successful 15-hour shutdown to remove and replace the wingspan, significantly reducing the impact to CSX operations compared to the original 48-hour plan."

Structures CSX Corporation