Discovery of hidden rails saves client time and money

The West Virginia Division of Highways wanted a new bridge downstream of an existing structure. Our bridge and highway engineers’ keen attention to detail led to a feasible alternative for replacing the structure. Our team developed bridge, right-of-way and contract plans for a 698-foot, four-span steel plate girder bridge to complete the replacement.

Through initial research and an in-depth site visit, we discovered abandoned railway tracks hidden beneath tall grass, barely visible on the surface. Recognizing these rails had the potential to disrupt project development, we completed a property search to identify the owner of the railroad right-of-way. Our team interviewed the railroad company president and learned that this section would be used again in the future to haul coal. That meant it could not be buried under a new bridge embankment.

Our efforts to get to the bottom of those overgrown tracks are a prime example of how we do the right thing. We saved the client time and money by reporting our findings and producing a feasible alternative for the new Hartland Bridge that stands today.


Hartland Bridge Replacement


West Virginia Division of Highways

Expertise Provided



Clay County, WV