Peak days have 25 construction workers on site.
The $11.8 million reconstruction of the New York State Department of Transportation's (NYSDOT) State Route 8 Bridge over State Routes 5 and 12 in the city of Utica began in mid-March 2021 and should be delivered by Bette & Cring LLC (B&C) in fall 2022.
The project is replacing the existing structure, built in 1960, that is 217 ft. long and has two lanes in each direction, with acceleration and deceleration lanes.
"The new structure will be a modern, multi-girder bridge that will enhance safety and enable the continued flow of people and commerce along this corridor for Oneida County and the entire Mohawk Valley," said James J. Piccola Jr., public information officer/construction, NYSDOT Mohawk Valley Region. "The bridge links Utica with the town of New Hartford and is a commonly used route for motorists looking to reach the Southern Tier, Adirondacks and the New York State Thruway."
NYSDOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez stressed the importance of the initiative.
"The replacement of this bridge, which is part of a vital corridor that runs through Oneida County, will help ensure people and goods can stay on the move in and out of the Mohawk Valley," she said. "This project demonstrates the department of transportation's commitment to that mission and to building a more resilient transportation network that meets the needs of all New Yorkers."
B&C is constructing a two-span, multi-lane bridge with a vertical clearance of more than 16 ft., which is far higher than the original structure. The bridge has three lanes in each direction — two mainline travel lanes and one deceleration/acceleration lane. Crews also are resurfacing nearby ramps leading to and from Route 8, as well as portions of Routes 5 and 12 near the bridge and installing new signs and lighting.
NYSDOT designed the new bridge and infrastructure.
"New bridges are designed with an intended service life span of 75 years," said Piccola. "The begin and end abutments are integral and supported on a pile foundation. The integral abutment allows for increased durability because bridge joints and bearings are eliminated. Eliminating bridge joints is a priority because bridge joints over time leak causing deterioration to bridge elements below the bridge joints. The girders are metalized, which provides the best corrosion protection. A challenging aspect of the project was designing a two-span bridge with an increased vertical clearance, minimum 16 feet.
"High performance steel [HPS] 70ksi was used to design the girders to allow for a shallow girder depth," he added. "Traditional steel is 50 ksi. The decision to design a two-span bridge was driven by the requirement to eliminate two piers. The two-span design also allows for future under roadway development."
The construction plan is phased, with only one half of the bridge being worked on at a time and one lane of traffic maintained in each direction throughout the project.
"Ramp closures will be required, and motorists will be instructed to follow posted detours," said Piccola. "Travel advisories have been published prior to the ramp closures advising motorists of the temporary detours.
To date, B&C has completed several Stage 1 bridge construction and the westbound lanes. The remaining benchmarks include Stage 2 bridge eastbound lanes on Route 8.
"Three of the four ramps were closed and therefore required extensive detours," said Piccola. "We utilized signs and VMS boards along with public outreach through travel advisories and media. We did not have any issues until steel shipments were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With three of the four ramps being closed, we were able to utilize the inner spaces for staging of materials and equipment. Night shifts were used to demolish the existing bridge and to set new steel. Relationships between the municipalities and the NYSDOT and B&C have been very good."
The reconstruction began with Stage 1 northside and the westbound lanes on Route 8.
"The demolition for Stage 1 began in 2021 and Stage 2 earlier this year," said Piccola. "The concrete for the new bridges is being poured-in-place."
The concrete and steel generated from the demolition was hauled to a waste area.
The bridge construction and demolition are utilizing cranes, which are helping to lift prefabricated pieces, pour concrete and with the demolition. The cranes also are helping with the installation of pipes. Also on site have been drilling rigs, loaders, and other standard pieces of equipment for the bridge and road work. Models include a Cat AP6 55F paver, a Cat CB 13 dual drum vibratory roller, a GOMACO C450 deck finishing machine and a Cat TL 1255 telehandler.
For the resurfacing operations, base and binder courses have been placed on Stage 1 only.
"The challenges for this work include traffic, subsurface unknowns with micro piles, and Covid," said Piccola. "But work is moving forward."
The resurfacing is based on a 9.5 mm F2 warm mix and a 25 mm F9 warm mix The lifts are using a 70 Series warm mix, the binder a 60 Series 25 mm warm mix, and the top, a 60 Series warm mix 1.5 in. with a raised profile of +/-20"
Barrett Paving Materials and Clemente Fane Concrete are providing the materials.
Lighting-wise, high mast lighting and LED luminaires are being installed at 150 ft. lengths.
"New overhead signs and new ground mounted signs are also being installed," said Piccola.
Peak days have 25 construction workers on site. The subcontractors include Apex Striping Inc. for striping; Interstate Reinforcing Inc. for rebar; EMI Guide Rail Inc. for guide rail and sign structures; Donnelly Construction Inc. for construction signs; JjP Slipforming Inc. for curbing and slipforming; SY Kim Land Surveyor P.C. for survey and layout; Rifenburg Construction Inc. for paving and earthwork; Structural Services for SIP forms and studs; Buffalo Drilling Co. Inc. for micropiles and drilled shafts; Power Line Constructors Inc. for lighting and electrical; Classic Environmental Inc. for asbestos removal; Burt Crane & Rigging for steel erection; Arold Construction Company Inc. for culvert cleaning; and Syrstone Inc. for grooving and MIRARDs.
Materials-wise, Clemente Fane Concrete is supplying the concrete; Dimension Fabricators Inc. the rebar; High Steel Structures LLC the structural steel; D.S Brown for bearings; Barrett Paving Materials Inc. for embankment and stone products; Poland Sand & Gravel LLC for select fills and topsoil; and Watson Bowman ACME Corp. for armorless joint systems.
The demolition and excavation operations will generate large amounts of concrete, steel and other materials.
"Some of the existing materials were used on embankment areas outside the 1 on 2 slopes," said Piccola.
B&C purchases and rents equipment from regional and local dealerships. CEG
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