NYC Unwraps Three Bridges for Holidays

Wed December 27, 2006 - Northeast Edition
David S. Chartock

The “Reconstruction of Three Bridges in the Bronx,” a $42.7-million project, is nearing completion, according to Mike McCotter, the engineer-in-charge of the project of the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), Region 11, Long Island City, N.Y.

The three bridges included in the project are Interstate 95 (the Bruckner Expressway) over I-695 (the Throgs Neck Expressway); East Tremont Avenue over I-295 (the Cross Bronx Expressway); and I-295 over Randall Avenue.

The scope of the work for I-95 over I-695 consisted of reconstruction of the three-lane, 200-ft. long, 70-ft. wide structure. Reconstruction required installation of new piles to a depth of 30 ft.; new concrete foundations; new concrete abutments; and one pier, McCotter explained.

“We used high-performance curved steel girders because the bridge is on a curve. Originally, this was a single bridge that carried three lanes of main-line traffic and two lanes of service road traffic. Now, we made it into two bridges — both northbound — with the service lane bridge 200 feet long and 50 feet wide,” said McCotter.

Project plans for this bridge also included replacing all the utilities and construction of new asphalt and concrete pavement approaches.

The scope of the work for the precast, prestressed Bulb Tee girder 100-ft. long, 275-ft. wide East Tremont Avenue Bridge over the Cross Bronx Expressway called for using the existing foundations, but adding additional concrete and rebar for seismic retrofitting, he said.

Additional concrete and rebar also was added to the footings and abutments for seismic retrofitting. Work for this bridge also called for adding six additional pier columns to widen the bridge, rebuilding the bridge’s asphalt and concrete approach roadways, replacing all water, gas and electrical utilities, and installing new traffic signals, McCotter explained.

Project plans for the 175-ft. long, 100-ft. wide Cross Bronx Expressway Bridge over Randall Avenue, consisted of replacing the concrete deck, McCotter said.

Project challenges included installing sheet piling that was used as a retaining wall during construction of the East Tremont Avenue Bridge. The solution involved a crane holding a vibratory hammer to install the sheet piling.

Another project challenge was maintaining traffic for the I-95 and East Tremont Avenue Bridges. The solution for maintaining traffic for these two bridges was to construct two two-lane temporary bridges that were the same length as the two existing structures, explained McCotter.

Each bridge’s work was phased in three stages to maintain traffic. Work hours were 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and when required, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Night work consisted of bridge demolition and the erection of new steel and concrete beams, he said.

Additional work will take place in the spring, McCotter said, which will include landscaping using trees, bushes and grass.

Community outreach played a key role in the smooth running of the project. Community outreach included a Web site and informational flyers that kept the public and local businesses informed about the project. There also was a full-time, on-site community liaison.

Primary heavy equipment used on the project included Tadano 250-ton, 150-ton and 45-ton cranes; an Ingersoll Rand DD-110 and DD-90 vibratory asphalt compactors; a Caterpillar AP-650B paver, 320 excavator, M315 rubber-tired excavator and 446 backhoe; a Komatsu 380 payloader and 220 excavator; a Gomaco C450 bridge finisher; and a Barrier Systems 144 moveable barrier machine.

In addition to NYSDOT, Region 11, other project team members included Judlau Contracting Inc. of Flushing, N.Y., general contractor; Baker Engineering of New York City, inspection consultant; Lockwood, Kessler & Bartlett Inc. of Syosett, N.Y., inspection consultant; and Infratech Associates of New York City, inspection consultant.

The contract for the project was awarded May 14, 2004 and called for completion Dec. 31, 2006. CEG

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