Three additional locations will be fixed along the Union Pacific Railroad line between Shawnee and Oklahoma City, because crews finished work ahead of schedule and under budget.


Three additional locations will be fixed along the Union Pacific Railroad line between Shawnee and Oklahoma City, because crews finished work ahead of schedule and under budget.
The line, operated by Arkansas-Oklahoma Railroad, has seen a facelift, because former Gov. Brad Henry was able to allocate $4 million to help fix “critical locations.” Those locations were areas that during times of flooding, the North Canadian River would wash out the rail line, not allowing trains to get to or from Shawnee.
The project was approved late last summer by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to fix the first four locations along the 38-mile stretch of track.
Edward Landreth, a consulting civil engineer for the railroad, and Brandon Crouch have been working in Shawnee since last fall, to ensure the project is done to engineering standards.
“With Phase One being substantially completed the last of December, ahead of schedule and under budget, the A-OK is now proud to announce ODOT’s approval of work to be done on three more of these critical locations along the Shawnee line, which will make up Phase Two of this North Canadian River Project,” Crouch said. “The A-OK considers this a large step in cementing the future of rail service in Shawnee as well as a testament to ODOT’s commitment not only to rail, but to the preservation of Shawnee jobs.”
After Phase One was completed, both Landreth and Crouch began working on Phase Two, knowing they had about $1.5 million extra, they didn’t originally think they might have.
Landreth said back in December that bids for the four locations were about $2.6 million, adding he estimated about $3 million for the project.
“It’s possible to extend the contract for two or three more locations,” Landreth noted then.
There is still some money from the stimulus grant, about $1.5 million, he said.
With that extra money, plans were made to continue working, with ODOT’s approval.
“Phase Two was approved on Dec. 20 and work officially began on Jan. 3,” Crouch said. “Using the same team involved in Phase One, the A-OK estimates a completion of Phase Two in mid-March, 2011.”
Initially, Landreth said he identified eight locations which were the most critical. After meeting with ODOT officials, four locations were decided to be the worst, he added.
R&R Contracting of Grand Forks, N.D., bid the project in July and began working in September, Landreth said. The same company also will complete work on the three new locations.
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Josh Burton may be reached by calling 214-3926.