BNSF Railway Missouri River Bridge Project Update

April 9, 2024 –Crews are constructing the piers for the new BNSF Railway bridge over the Missouri River at Bismarck and Mandan. After a brief pause during winter, work began with pile driving for Pier 9 on the west side and will begin soon for Pier 8 near the west riverbank.

Barges have been assembled to serve as a base for equipment used during in-water construction, including long-reach excavators, cranes, bucket lifts, welders, and pile hammers.

With barges in place, preparation is underway for work at Pier 7, one of the two piers in the main river channel. Throughout the project, the river will always have an open channel for recreational users.

You can find this and other updates at the project website


March 15, 2024 As the weather cooperates this spring, crews are remobilizing at the construction site of the BNSF bridge between Mandan and Bismarck. Construction of the new piers will continue as we estimate driving H pile for Piers 9 and 8 on the west side of the Missouri River beginning the week of March 18. This work will occur during daylight hours and could include Saturdays.

Crews will remain on the west side of the river for much of the 2024 season. In addition to Piers 9 and 8, plans call for Pier 7 in the river channel to be constructed in 2024-2025. It’s estimated that work on Pier 7 will occur later this summer. The river piers on the east side of the channel will now be constructed in 2025-2026.

In Bismarck, River Road Trail will remain open for most of 2024 for recreational users, but once crews start staging equipment and preparing for pier construction on the east side, a portion of the trail will be closed for the safety of the public for the duration of the project. We understand the impact of this trail closure on the community, but to complete the project safely and efficiently, we have to utilize the railroad right of way without concerns for people walking or biking in the active construction site.

Piers on the east end of the project will be constructed mid to late-summer 2024. Spans on the east and west ends of the bridge may be hoisted in place.

Construction of the new embankment northwest of the existing bridge will resume this month and should be completed later this fall. Based on the agreement reached with the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and like last summer, westbound trucks will exit Liberty Memorial Bridge and traverse the access road on DOT right of way adjacent to I-I94 to bring in equipment and material. This keeps construction traffic away from local roads.

The project team would like to remind motorists to slow down and use caution throughout the work zone. 

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