Optimizing Sub-Structure Designs and Installation Practices to Improve Long-Term Performances of Highway-Railway At-Grad

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Optimizing Sub-Structure Designs and Installation Practices to Improve Long-Term Performances of Highway-Railway At-Grad

Mensagem por Manuela » 05 Set 2016, 14:02

Autor: Jerry G. Rose, PE.

The highway-railway at-grade crossing represents the jointly used facility for these two modes of transportation. Its primary purpose is to provide a smooth surface for the safe and comfortable passage of rubber-tired vehicles across the railroad, while not impacting normal train operations. The crossing (surface and support) in the jointly used area represents a significantly expensive unit cost of the highway and railway line and should maintain a smooth surface and stable trackbed for a long period of time. This reduces costly, frequent disruptions to highway and railway traffic (to adjust the track or renew the surface due to rideability concerns), and provides improved operating performance and long life. Technology is available for rapidly renewing highway crossings within one day, when desired; using a panel system with specifically designed premium materials and layered support. The procedure involves complete removal of the old crossing panel and trackbed materials -- and replacing them with an asphalt underlayment layer, a pre-compacted ballast layer, a new track panel, and a new crossing surface. A cooperative effort between the local highway agency and the railway company will reduce costs and improve the quality of the finished product. A major objective is to minimize disruption to both highway and railway traffic during the renewal process in addition to extending the life of the crossing. Schedules can be arranged so that the railroad will be out-of-service for a maximum of four hours and the highway to be closed only eight to twelve hours. Results are presented for crossings instrumented with pressure cells to document pressure levels within the layered portion of the crossing structure. In addition, long-term settlement measurements and assessments for several crossings are documented. The measurements indicate significantly reduced long-term settlements of crossings incorporating the rapid-renewal, layered system, while maintaining acceptable smoothness levels. These long-term performance evaluations indicate this practice ensures long-life, economical, smooth crossings.
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