Franklin County Regional Intermodal Facility

Greencastle, PA
Norfolk Southern Railway Company
Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
$36.5 million

Paving such a vast expanse with RCC during the summer months in Pennsylvania posed serious challenges. An advantage of using RCC is that it is drier than regular concrete and, therefore, does not require supports or seams. A disadvantage is that it can dry too quickly to maintain adherence in high air temperatures and windy conditions. It was a constant challenge to pave 16-inch-depth RCC in two lifts, while maintaining a moist surface on the first lift to maintain bond with the second lift, with high air temperatures and constant winds. The design specified the construction of a one-mile detour track at the facility to avoid interruptions to the significant freight rail operations at the site. The design plans, however, were based upon the use of jack-and-bore excavation to install the stormwater drainage pipes under the active railroad tracks. Jack-and-bore installation of the pipes proved to be impossible, however, because of the split-face rock and clay composition of the soil beneath the tracks, and it was necessary to use open-cut trenches through the mainline tracks. This required the construction of the designed temporary detour track to become abandoned, and the need to build the entire length of lead track to accommodate all of Norfolk Southern’s freight traffic through the site.


A waterway Tributary flowed parallel to the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks at the site of the intermodal facility, on the east side of the tracks. Mitigation of construction impacts to the tributary required moving the entire stream 500 feet to the west side of the railroad tracks. Crews installed plants, grasses, and small trees, known as “live stakes,” along the stream waterline, to stabilize the stream banks and create a vegetative barrier. This project also required the use of Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) to pave the entire 170-acre expanse. Baker procured the expertise of a director for the Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association, an expert in the use of RCC. Baker developed a secure project website to maintain and control construction documentation, facilitate access to the documentation by all project stakeholders, and to facilitate communication among members of the project team, the design team, contractor staff, and Norfolk Southern staff. In an era that is characterized by concerns about the use of cargo and cargo containers to perpetrate terrorist acts, Norfolk Southern and Baker’s design team developed a simple but innovative security system for the intermodal facility. The entire tractor-trailer, including the underside of the truck, is inspected by camera before it can proceed through security gates that are operated by a card-reader system.

The Norfolk Southern Corporation’s (NSR) Franklin County intermodal Facility (FCRIMF) located in Greencastle Pennsylvania was a challenging project in many aspects and Baker was a key contributor to its successful completion. Baker was very responsive to NSR’s concerns and was exceptionally supportive in assisting in meet the project demands. The staff from Baker was knowledgeable, and professional with a focus on commitment to the client’s requirements and working to construct a state of the art facility. The use of Baker’s Construction Management and Inspection services in administering this project was tremendously beneficial to NSR.  

Rich Zaluski


Norfolk Southern Railway Company