Build a railway with precast concrete boxes - and they will come.
Michael Cimino's 1978 film epic, The Deer Hunter continued the American reverence for the White-Tailed Deer. Much like the American buffalo, this animal provided sustenance for Native Americans including tribes like the Sac, Fox, Osage and Missouri, as well as frontiersmen and explorations such as the Lewis and Clark expedition that traveled up the Missouri River in 1804. Missouri's dependence on its deer herds continues to this day, as deer hunters add hundreds of millions of dollars to the state's economy annually. Much of the forests are now privately owned, and some landowners have adopted the next level of conservation of the deer by introducing controlled hunts on their lands. One entrepreneur and conservationist in Crawford County near Steelville, Missouri has introduced rail technology and precast concrete boxes into his management plan to sustain a herd of whitetailed deer on his 2500-acre tract.
The tunnel sections had to be cut and blasted through rock to maintain the level grade for the train and rail system
As an active member of the National Rifle Association, Mr. John Woods Sr. understands the value of a place where firearms can be enjoyed, and is building a hunter's dream after he purchased a train and track system from an amusement park in California.
Maintenance and hunter access to deer stands is provided by a system of approximately four miles of railway that includes two precise concrete box tunnels. In addition to the railway, a roadway and reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) storm sewer service the land. The speed by which precast concrete box sections (some with special base designs) could be stored, delivered and installed was a deciding factor in the use of precise products over cast-in-place. Use of native soil and blasted rock material for backfill was also an attractive option, as the tunnels had to meet safety and local structural codes for transporting people underground. Located within 100 miles of the site, Independent Concrete Pipe Company was able to deliver pipe and boxes using its own fleet of trucks. This was important to the contractor, as it was difficult to keep long stretches of trench stable and safe between re-occurring rainfalls. Box sections had to be on site when the contractor had an excavation ready for installation.
Two hundred foot long "S" curve box culvert tunnel constructed with 8-foot x 8-foot x 6-foot precast reinforced concrete box sections.
Independent Concrete Pipe supplied 1,000
The second tunnel required a specially designed box to accommodate a low flow drainage channel and to anchor 4-inch x 4-inch x 3-foot railway ties. The structural design and joins also had to take into consideration any vibration for the passage of the locomotive and cards. The low flow channel was required to keep any storm water from flooding the tracks. The reinforcing steel in the base of the box sections had to be reconfigured to maintain the 1-inch cover of concrete required in the design specification while at the same time accommodating the low flow channel. In addition, some box sections were delivered with scored ceiling vents to house a 24-inch PVC rim for ventilation and lighting. The box sections with vents were installed every 100 feet.
All boxes delivered to the site were equipped with neoprene omniflex gaskets. The top joints received a “Miratex” joint sealant and all joints were gasketed and wrapped with a goetextile material to reduce the possibility of water and fines infiltration, as the tunnels were used for transporting people and had to be free of any leaks of water or fines.
The storm sewer for the access road comprised 500 feet of 12-inch diameter, 1,000 feet of 18-inch diameter, 100 feet of 21-inch diameter, and 600 feet of 24-inch diameter Class IV gasketed RCP. In some locations, the roadway crossed the box culvert tunnels, and pipe outfalls were installed with flared end sections.
Design of the rail system began in April 2003 with shop drawings at Independent Concrete Pipe Company. With the drawings approved in June, construction of the “S” curve tunnel began in October 2003. The project was placed on hold over the winter months and then resumed in the spring. By August 2005, both tunnel sections had been completed.
A view of the tunnel running underground after the project was completed in August of 2005.
Safe hunting tracts are becoming treasured recreational assets in
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