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Bataan Memorial Trainway, 2003 HCEL
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The Bataan Memorial Trainway, a massive, three-year engineering project costing $5.5 million and requiring the services of eight major contractors and twenty-two subcontractors, was completed in 1950. Upon completion, the Bataan Memorial Trainway created a six-block-long corridor through downtown El Paso, allowing trains to pass belowground, and making the City safer and more accessible to pedestrians and drivers.This was the first application of depressed trackage for the relocation of a mainline transcontinental railroad through a downtown urban area. Beyond its design and construction phases, the project actually represents fifty years of varied efforts on the part of government and private employees and concerned citizens alike from conception to realization. As far back as 1901, the City of El Paso passed an Ordinance requiring railroads to separate their grade crossings through the downtown area (which went unheeded, requiring further efforts) in anticipation of this issue.

In addition to excavation and construction of the below grade through-way, the Bataan Memorial Trainway required the relocation of multiple railroad tracks into a single route as well as construction of eight bridges to carry the city streets over the depressed corridor. A 1,700 foot-high arch structural bridge was also included in the project to span the railroad yards at Cotton Street outside the Trainway area. The project was named in honor of the POW victims and survivors of the Bataan Death March in the Phillippines during WWII and dedicated during a national convention of ex-POWs in 1950.

Owners:
City of El Paso
  Union Pacific Railroad Co
  Texas Department of Transportation
Engineer:
De Leuw Cather and Co. 
Contractor:
R.E. McKee Co. (Principal)
Photo:
Bill Kirchner; October 21; 2012; hmdb.org
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