Montello, Nevada isn’t a city most economists would consider to have much of an effect on the national economy.
In fact, it isn’t even a city.
However, on Feb. 8, 2017, Twentyone Mile Dam north- west of Montello broke and caused flooding to two vital Union Pacific rail lines that connect Ogden, Utah and Reno, Nevada. The damaged lines — and related damage to Nevada Route 233 — brought commercial traffic to a halt.
Four major washes caused by the flooding meant Union Pacific customers had delayed deliveries and, with railroads, downtime means significant economic impact.
Enter W.W. Clyde & Co., and its sister company partner Geneva Rock. W.W. Clyde & Co. — led by project manager Tyler Clyde and superintendent Glade Larsen — was selected by Union Pacific to deal with the transportation emergency.
“Union Pacific told us that if one of their main lines is down for three days, there’s a measurable effect on the national economy,” Tyler Clyde says. “This particular line comes out of Ogden, which is a major hub for Union Pacific. We needed to get this going as quickly as possible.”
The flood occurred on Wednesday and by Sunday, W.W. Clyde & Co. crews were mobilizing. They were working on Monday.
Geneva Rock was a vital partner for the quick reconstruction project. Geneva Rock was called upon to transport materials as close to the site as possible — which turned out to be Wells, Nevada — allowing W.W. Clyde & Co. team members to have what they needed to get the job done.
In 11 days, Geneva Rock shipped 20,000 tons of fill material for what totaled 6,665 hours of trucking. At times, there were 120 trucks on the road at a time.
“Sometimes we needed them to be ready 24 hours a day,” Tyler Clyde says.
The uncertainty of the situation led to frequent changes to the schedule, which meant Geneva Rock had to be flexible to the needs of W.W. Clyde & Co. “That was a challenge,” says Tyler Papworth, trucking manager at Geneva Rock. “We needed to be ready, but things changed quickly.”
Tyler Papworth appreciated Glade’s ability to keep them informed and his dedication to solutions.
“Glade was awesome,” he says. “He was very professional and so was the rest of the team at W.W. Clyde.”
In a complicated emergency job like this one, Tyler Clyde appreciated the streamlined efforts that came by working with another Clyde Companies entity like Geneva Rock.
“It’s easy to work with sister companies because we’re family with each other, we know the resources they have available and we know their capabilities,” Tyler Clyde says. “From the project management side of the things, it’s nice to have Geneva on site. Their level of safety is the Clyde Way. We know what to expect. That makes things easier to manage.”
The first of the two rail lines was back in use by Feb. 25, meaning almost two weeks of around-the-clock construction was required to get trains running again.
Construction of the second rail line included two pipes to assist in future water runoff control. Pipe construction finished March 16. Other projects — including roadwork — are ongoing and will be completed in the coming weeks and months.
However, thanks in large part to the strong partnership between W.W. Clyde & Co. and Geneva Rock, the Union Pacific line is again moving the American economy.