Railroad spur construction complete, service begins for facility

Published 10:00 am Thursday, March 2, 2023

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Construction of the railroad spur has been completed, officials said.

In April 2022, the city of Atmore awarded TripTek Construction LLC a bid to construct the railroad spur, which connects the main CSX rail line to Coastal Growers LLC, a peanut shelling facility. In May 2021, the city was awarded a $2 million grant to build the spur.

TripTek Owner and Project Construction Manager Miles Smith said construction was completed on schedule, and transit cars began servicing Coastal on Feb. 10.

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In September 2022, Smith talked about the construction process of the railroad spur.

Smith said the process began by placing casing over the existing utilities, and installing new casing for future utilities. He said the casing was installed to protect the water and sewer lines for the rail spur to go over them.

Smith said Alabama Power Co. raised the transmission lines behind Masland Carpets so trains will be able to move under them.

“They were easy to work with,” Smith said about Alabama Power, adding that other companies have cooperated in this project. “We had Verizon (Wireless) come in and lower their main fiber line that runs along the railroad track.”

After utility work was finished, grading and excavation was done over a couple of months. This process included hauling in 15,000 yards and hauling out about 30,000 yards of unsuitable material, along with hauling in approximately 7,500 tons of stone, Smith said.

Smith said they coordinated with CSX to install their switch on the main line. The switch on the main will be installed in mid to late October.

Once the base part of the rail line was complete, the construction of the rail spur commenced.

Smith said it’s a big job.

“It’s beneficial to the city,” he said. “Other companies are looking at coming out because of the railroad spur.”

Smith said the city and West Escambia Utilities have also been helpful in the process.

“We’re fortunate to be able to do that type of work for the city of Atmore,” he said.

Josh Martin, owner of TripTek, is project superintendent, along with Steven Johnson, who is serving as construction foreman and Mark Rogers as construction manager.