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Rehab of Dunn Memorial Bridge Under Way in N.Y.

Tue May 22, 2012 - Northeast Edition
Mary Reed


The Dunn Memorial Bridge rehabilitation is the first of a number of bridge and interstate road projects that will improve safety and increase travel efficiency in the downtown corridor of the state’s Capital, Albany.
The Dunn Memorial Bridge rehabilitation is the first of a number of bridge and interstate road projects that will improve safety and increase travel efficiency in the downtown corridor of the state’s Capital, Albany.
The Dunn Memorial Bridge rehabilitation is the first of a number of bridge and interstate road projects that will improve safety and increase travel efficiency in the downtown corridor of the state’s Capital, Albany. Bid-Well concrete finishing machines are being utilized for concrete overlay finishing, and a Wirtgen milling machine also is working onsite. Harrison & Burrowes Bridge Constructors Inc., (H & B) of Glenmont, N.Y., is serving as prime contractor for the project.

An essential two-year $11.6 million rehabilitation of New York State’s Dunn Memorial Bridge got under way in June 2011.

The Dunn Memorial Bridge rehabilitation is the first of a number of bridge and interstate road projects that will improve safety and increase travel efficiency in the downtown corridor of the state’s Capital, Albany.

The multi-year program will feature improvements on I-787 and its environs and includes the rehabilitation of I-787 at the Clinton Avenue viaduct in Albany and reconstruction of the southern portion of the I-787 from Exit 23 of the Thruway to the South Mall Expressway.

Named after Albany native and World War I posthumous Medal of Honor awardee Private Parker F. Dunn, the bridge carries state Routes 9 and 2 across the Hudson River, linking Albany and Rensselaer, N.Y. Approximately 36,000 motorists cross the span each day.

The current bridge was constructed in 1967 and features four traffic lanes in each direction. The previous structure was a swing bridge, replacing a bridge dating from 1881. Funding for the job is provided by state and federal sources.

Harrison & Burrowes Bridge Constructors Inc., (H & B) of Glenmont, N.Y., is serving as prime contractor for the project.

“Along with coordinating work with subcontractors, we are solely involved in the replacement of all concrete repair areas on the bridge piers and bridge deck. There is a total of 140,000 square feet of concrete overlay to be removed and poured back on the bridge decks, the main bridge, the on and off ramps, and a separate pedestrian bridge. There is also bridge bearing replacements on the Rensselaer side on ramp, pin and hanger replacements, and steel member repairs,” said Dane Insogna, project manager of Harrison & Burrowes.

Work began at the beginning of June 2011 to construct the cross overs for the work on the eastbound side of the bridge. This stage was completed in October 2011.

“Right now we are working on removing the existing concrete overlay on the eastbound bridge deck, replacing the bridge joints in the eastbound direction, and removing a portion of the existing pedestrian bridge deck. Piasecki Steel Construction is working to rehabilitate the pin and hangers and complete several steel repairs on the main span of the Dunn Bridge over the Hudson,” Insogna said.

“Stage 2 will complete all but a small portion of the eastbound bridge deck, which will be completed during two Incentive/Disincentive stages. Stage 3 will begin work on the ramp coming from Rensselaer and part of the westbound direction bridge. Stage 4 will be all but a small portion of the westbound direction bridge deck and Stage 5 will be the final piece of the westbound direction bridge. During these stages we will also be working on a small section of concrete pavement replacement on the Dunn ramp into Rensselaer,” he added.

Stages 2, 3, 4, and 5 will be completed by Nov. 31, 2012.

Equipment working on the job includes Rampart hydro-demolition equipment. Bid-Well concrete finishing machines are being utilized for concrete overlay finishing, and a Wirtgen milling machine also is working on site.

“A major obstacle will be temporary work platforms underneath the bridges, and we are working closely with our structural engineers, GPI Inc., to design a constructible alternative to using scaffolding underneath the bridge,” Insogna said. “We are looking to do all of the rehabilitation on the deck and bridge joints without the use of barges from the Hudson navigable channel."

An unusual feature of the rehabilitation involves mitigation efforts relating to the possible effects of construction to the peregrine falcon nesting season during spring and summer. The birds have nested on the bridge since 1998. Working with biologists from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), the NYSDOT has installed nesting boxes and visual barriers under bridge areas where work will be carried out during the nesting season and also will provide assistance in the matter of nest cameras and the banding of peregrine falcon chicks.

Major subcontractors working on the project include Castleton, N.Y.-based Piasecki Steel Construction Corporation, which is handling all steel repairs, pin and hanger rehabilitation, windlock bearing replacements, and bearing replacements, and the Marine Steel Painting Corporation of Alden, N.Y., which will carry out all paint removal and steel painting on girders and repairs.

Founded in 1980, Harrison & Burrowes Bridge Constructors Inc., has performed more than 100 prime and 50 subcontractor jobs to date. H&B rehabilitates and constructs bridges ranging from urban overpasses to bridges over environmentally sensitive streams and rivers in rural settings. The company also lifts bridges for bearing replacements, rehabilitation, and major steel replacement projects, as well as carrying out land- and water-based piling and steel sheeting work. Recent major jobs carried out by the company include construction of the Walkway, the longest pedestrian bridge in the world, over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (2009), demolition of the Crown Point Bridge between Crown Point, N.Y., and Chimney Point, Vt. (2009/2010), and demolition and construction of the James A. Farley Bridge in Stony Point, N.Y. (2009).

The bridge is named after a prominent politician and U.S. Postmaster General during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.