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Port of Wilmington

Project Highlights

  • Installed 1,290 linear feet of 175-lb. crane rail
  • Installed 900 track-feet of 110-lb. rail
  • Installed 14 expansion joints
North Carolina State Ports Authority
Wilmington, North Carolina
Provided By

RailWorks installed three crane rails and replaced two tracks on Berth No. 8 at the Port of Wilmington.

RailWorks Track Systems worked as a subcontractor to Cape Romain Contracting on the total replacement of Berth 8 at the Port of Wilmington, North Carolina. The port's intermodal lifts operate on the crane rail system to load and unload ships and trucks.

RailWorks installed 1,290 linear feet of 175-lb. crane rail and two 110-lb. railroad tracks totaling 900 track feet, all on an Atlantic Track & Turnout System.

The direct fixation system used in this project consisted of ¾"x12"x10' steel sole plates mounted on anchor bolts on 16" centers. Once plates were set and leveled, RailWorks crews placed steel-reinforced rubber impact pads on the plates, set the rail on the pads, followed by installation of bolts in the upper clips to secure the rail in place.

After checking rail alignment and establishing proper elevation, crews mixed and poured high-strength grout under the sole plates. To close gaps between Berth 8 and the adjoining berths, they installed expansion joints at either end of the rail.

Unique Features

For four months, RailWorks crews performed incident-free work around the busy port, which in 2009 handled 362 ships carrying more than 3 million tons of container, bulk and break bulk cargo. RailWorks crews continually adjusted weekly schedules to allow for unloading taking place on adjacent berths.

The heavy-duty epoxy grout installed by RailWorks for this project reaches strengths of 16,000 PSI in seven days. Working in extremely cold weather, two crews were challenged to maintain optimal temperature conditions for working with the grout. To maintain a grout temperature of at least 60 degrees, they built a heat box to maintain the warmth generated by a portable heater.