RECo Reacts: A Speedy Wall Repair Restores Rail Service

RECo Reacts: A Speedy Wall Repair Restores Rail Service

Reconstruction Underway, January 20, 2009
Reinforced Earth Product in Field
Littleton, Colorado
Denver Transit Construction Group (DTCG)


On January 16, 2009, a freight train operated by Burlington Northern / Santa Fe (BNSF) derailed in a depression south of Littleton, Colorado, severely damaging an existing MSE retaining wall. The freight tracks share a corridor with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) light rail system, and the damage to the MSE wall forced a suspension to the RTD service. 

The Reinforced Earth Company (RECo) was contacted on January 17 to participate in the evaluation of the damaged MSE retaining wall and aid in developing plans to restore RTD service.  RECo’s local personnel were on-site that same day to coordinate a plan of action with Denver Transit Construction Group (DTCG), a joint venture between Herzog Contracting, St. Joseph, MO and Stacey Witbeck, Alameda, CA.  DTCG was, at the time of the derailment, under contract to construct the new West Corridor LRT line for RTD in the nearby city of Golden for which RECo is supplying more than 246,000 SF of retaining walls (see more below). This existing relationship allowed for a quick solution to restore the RTD service: DTCG would dismantle 400’ of damaged MSE wall and re-construct utilizing RECo designs and materials.

RECo completed the necessary drawings and calculations by January 20th. Replacement precast facing panels, soil reinforcements and accessories were obtained from the West Corridor project inventory. 

DTCG work crews had deconstructed and excavated the MSE wall section by January 19th, and RECo’s first material deliveries were made on January 20th when construction of the new wall section began. The entire wall section was completed within 10 days and RTD service was restored on February 2.

DTCG’s Mr. John West, Project Manager, acknowledged that…”your (RECo’s)  effort on this project was extraordinary and I certainly appreciate all of your assistance in making this a successful effort.”