Union Pacific Railroad

Global I Intermodal Facility

Chicago, IL

The Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) realized a major increase in the volume of containerized freight traffic. This increase in business created an opportunity for UPRR to construct a new facility at their Wood Street Yard which would be dedicated exclusively to the handling of containerized freight.

Benesch served as consulting engineer for this 91-acre railroad yard. The goal was to plan, design and construct a facility that would receive, unload, transfer, trans-load and ship containers on schedule at the lowest cost. Because no reference material was available, UPRR and Benesch conducted a value planning study to formulate the most efficient method of handling the anticipated freight.

The result of the value planning study was a report that determined all project criteria and the general terminal configuration. Benesch performed all design activities and prepared plans and contract documents required to build the facility. The project was built on a fast-track basis, with construction being performed as drawings and right-of-way became available. Benesch managed the solicitation and review of all bids, coordinated construction activities and reviewed pay requests and change orders. A full-time field staff monitored construction activities and coordinated the work of 16 contractors. The entire facility was built in 16 months, including staging the construction that allowed existing operations to continue without disruption.

Project highlights

  • Prior to Global I, no other facility exclusively dedicated to handling double-stack containerized freight existing
  • Maintain existing yard operations while constructing new facility
  • Develop facility to receive double-stack trains and depart piggybacks
  • Coordination of activities with 16 contractors