Kelso to Martin's Bluff Improvements Project

CLIENT Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) 

Location Kelso to Longview Junction, WA

The Kelso to Marin's Bluff project improves the speed and reliability of high-speed intercity passenger rail service along the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor. 

The project both relieves rail congestion in and out of port facilities, and allows for two additional Amtrak Cascades service round trips between Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon.

The project includes construction of approximately four miles of new main line track, including installation of four new turnouts and removal of one existing turnout, and the construction of a new 240-foot single-track bridge over the Coweeman River. Construction includes placing significant volumes of fill with potential impacts to high quality Category 1 wetlands and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplain and floodway areas, as well as permanent impacts to seven acres of federally regulated aquatic areas. The project also reconnects the Coweeman River and Owl Creek floodplains, and removes and replaces two undersized fish crossings with larger fish-passable culverts.

Shannon & Wilson worked with BNSF and WSDOT to provide comprehensive environmental support for this project.  Our services include environmental permitting, Federal agency coordination, stream and wetland delineations, mitigation planning, developing a biological evaluation for formal Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation, and assisting with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document development.

Construction of the new line required widening the existing 20-foot-high BNSF main line railroad embankment fill over soft ground and adjacent to wetlands. Shannon & Wilson provided geotechnical design review and field construction support after embankment construction displaced weak ground into adjacent designated wetlands.


Matt Grizzell

Mike Harney
Vice President, Seattle Office Manager

Oliver Hoopes
Senior Associate

Neal McCulloch
Vice President, Director of Railroad Services

Tyler Stephens
Vice President

Katie Walter
Vice President

Ben Warren

Stephanie Wanderer
Senior Geologist

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