Bull Mountain Design-Build


Ames Construction was the design-build general contractor for a 36-mile-long railroad spur that tied into existing railway mainline tracks near Broadview, Montana.

The project scope included massive earthwork, aggregate processing and placement, and grading. Under an aggressive schedule for this alternative delivery project, Ames crews moved 9.1 million cubic yards of earthwork in nine months.

The project worked seven days a week around the clock during an unusually cold Montana winter to keep the fills live so that they were not exposed to freezing temperatures for extended periods. Three million cubic yards of rock required blasting, including one rock cut that was 14,000 feet long and up to 70 feet deep.

The project also included the construction of five bridges, all of which were three-span structures that used precast concrete girders and cast-in-place footings, piers, abutments, and decks.

The design team was provided with a relatively narrow corridor, railroad grade and curve restrictions, and a large number of county road and private road crossings that had to be maintained or improved.

Markets: Railroad

Location: Yellowstone and Musselshell Counties, Montana

Completion: August 2009

Delivery: Design-build


  • Aggregate processing and placement
  • Bridge construction


  • 9.1 million cubic yards of earthwork
  • 3 million cubic yards of rock blasted
  • 36 miles of track