New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald recently announced receipt of a national award for innovation for a $10.2 million project to replace two bridges carrying Interstate 84 over Dingle Ridge Road in Southeast, Putnam County. A state-of-the-art construction method was used to slide new bridges into place during the span of two weekends, saving time and money, and minimizing disruptions for the travelling public. The project was awarded in the “Best Use of Innovation” category in the northeast regional American Transportation Awards competition.
“I am honored that the Department of Transportation has been nationally recognized for our commitment to using the best, most cutting edge techniques to improve safety while reducing traffic delays during construction and saving tax dollars for the people of New York State,” McDonald said. “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has set the bar high on innovation. Under his leadership, we continue to improve New York State’s economy by modernizing key commuting and shipping corridors, such as Interstate 84.”
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Deputy Administrator Gregory Nadeau said, “When it comes to delivering innovative projects that make travel safer, every day counts, FHWA commends New York for improving I-84 by building better bridges sooner over Dingle Ridge Road.”
Construction began in June 2013 to build foundations for the new bridges. Pre-cast concrete bridge beams were fabricated off site, shipped to the site and assembled just to the north of each bridge. During the two weekend closures last fall, the former bridges were demolished, and the new bridges were slid sideways into place and secured. Each bridge took less than 24 hours to replace, with each bridge being completed on two separate weekends.
Work on the heavily travelled interstate needed to be completed with minimal impacts to the approximately 75,000 vehicles that depend on it each day. Using the slide method reduced the amount of construction-related traffic delays by isolating closures to two weekends. It also saved tax payers an estimated $2 million and shaved a year off the construction schedule.
The awards are sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and identify the best transportation projects in three categories. The Best Use of Innovation category celebrates excellence in innovative management techniques and use of technology. The award recognizes new policies or procedures and creative transportation solutions that enhance the effective movement of people, goods, and services; increase transportation efficiency and choices; improve safety, accessibility, and aid traffic management; and enhance community life.
NYSDOT’s I-84 project was chosen to represent the Northeast Division. Winners from each region of the country and the top 10 projects will then advance to compete for the National Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award. Those awards will be announced in November.
The construction contractor for the I-84 bridge project was Yonkers Contracting Company Inc. of Westchester County.
The project received a $2.1 million Highway for LIFE (HfL) grant from the Federal Highway Administration. The HfL program encourages the use of innovative technologies and practices on America’s roads and bridges, such as accelerated bridge construction, cutting-edge building materials and advanced methods for construction project management.