Day 2: Several weeks before McMullen Booth Road closed, CSXT crews assembled the entire replacement track off of the existing tracks. The resulting 336 linear feet of #146 rail and ties, welded and anchored together as a single piece, weighed nearly 10 tons. After removing the old rail bed, CSXT crews and the county contractor's three track excavators moved the new assembly into place. This process took just a few hours, whereas assembling the track in-place takes weeks. Photos: Pinellas County
Days 7 and 8. Before construction, CSXT established the theoretical proposed elevation of the new rails, which are designed based on the new roadway approaches. The final profile grade can deviate from the elevation by as many as 6 inches. The closer the actual final elevation of the railroad is to the theoretical elevation, the less redesign is required for the roadway approaches, eliminating delays. After the new ballast was compacted, CSXT used a vibratory leveling machine with infrared laser technology to set the final profile grade of the new rails, saving more time.
Days 9-11. The original full-depth rubber crossing had deteriorated to asphalt patches. The replacement called for installing rail seal and prefabricated concrete panels between the rails and 2 feet outside the rails. After the panels were installed, the county's contractor poured in place 5-foot-wide reinforced concrete aprons adjacent to the panels. CSXT shaved two to four days off the duration of the road closure by using high-early-strength (HES) concrete, which reaches 3,000 psi in 24 hours.