It’s all about teamwork! SDOT recently partnered with Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) on a project to improve driving conditions near E Marginal Way S and Diagonal Ave S. Together, the agencies restored approximately 700 feet of railroad tracks that are notorious for making driving conditions pretty rough in that area. The work was done in a tight window – working against the clock during a weekend when Seattle Sounders FC fans might be driving through, and when Mother Nature was not exactly cooperating.
The project required significant coordination among multiple SDOT divisions and UPRR to plan, keep an eye on the weather, and execute, in a very short amount of time. UPRR crews saw-cut and excavated the existing tracks and adjacent pavement and installed new tracks and concrete crossing pads. SDOT crews then worked from dawn to dark on a Sunday to ensure that E Marginal Way S was open in time for the end of the Sounders game. Crews repeated this effort on Monday so Diagonal Ave S road could be opened for the Tuesday morning commute.
In addition to time restraints and weather challenges, there were some unforeseen UPRR delays, and SDOT crews had to work in very tight operating spaces. Our crews placed roughly 300 tons of asphalt — much of it by hand — because the space was too tight to accommodate our paving equipment.
In the end, SDOT and UPRR crews worked together to rise above the numerous restoration challenges and built a vastly improved railroad crossing section. Residents will now experience a much smoother ride when traveling in this area. This project is an excellent example of multiple City and external agencies working together!