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Salem St. Bridge Project Replaces 74-Year-Old Span

Thu December 11, 2008 - Northeast Edition
Mary Reed

Mythical socialite Phoebe Snow became well known across the United States in the early years of the 20th Century. Dressed in a white hat and gown she appeared in advertisements created by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (DL&W). The message was their passengers’ clothes would not be dirtied after travel on what was nicknamed, “The Road of Anthracite,” because DL&W locomotives ran on that cleaner-burning coal rather than the more commonly used bituminous type.

New Jersey Transit now runs commuter trains on the line, which will see more changes next year when it will boast a new bridge after the 74-year-old South Salem Street span in Dover, N.J., is replaced.

Crossing New Jersey Transit’s Morristown line, the current bridge is deteriorating and with a posted weight limit of 22 tons, no shoulders, and substandard geometry on its approaches has been ticketed as functionally obsolete by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT).

The $11.2 million replacement is funded by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation Federal Highway Administration with NJDOT contributing $67,000.

The new span will be a 115-ft. (35 m) long steel bridge featuring two lanes 12 ft. (3.6 m) wide with shoulders. There will be a sidewalk on each side of the bridge plus improved lighting and safety railings.

Northeast Remsco Construction Inc., headquartered in Farmingdale, N.J., is prime contractor for the job. Its project management team consists of Andrew Valkos (vice president, transportation division), Joseph T. Schafer (vice president, operations), Joseph P. Bonner (project engineer, in-house design), Jerome R. Lemanowicz (field project manager), and William Clayton (project field superintendent). NJDOT is represented on the project by Alex Borovskis (resident engineer) and Inspectors Bill O’Donnell and Barry Noble.

Construction of the Dover bridge kicked off Aug. 1, 2007. No problems have been experienced and the project is on schedule for its completion date of Aug. 1, 2009.

Work accomplished to date includes erection of two 121-ft. (36.9 m) wide catenary galvanized steel structures. Both were installed for NJ Transit to support its catenary, signal and feeder wires.

Northeast Remsco also has completed construction of stage 1 north and south abutment footings and south and north abutment cast-in-place concrete walls, installed heavy section soldier piles and lagging for temporary roadway sheeting, and carried out miscellaneous roadway drainage work based on the sequence of work.

In addition, construction of cast-in-place retaining wall and abutments with stone faced form-liner and erection of precast modular T-wall has been carried out with form-liner supplied by the Fort Miller Company, based in Schuylerville, N.Y.

Installation of pre-cast concrete lagging for the foundation for retaining wall #2, erection of structural steel bridge girders and installation of stay-in-place bridge deck forms and expansion joints for stage 1 and installation of reinforcing steel for bridge deck, sidewalk and parapet for stage 2 also are now completed. Mechanically stabilized earth structures (wire wall) supplied by Tensar Earth Technologies located in Atlanta, Ga., has been installed for left-in-place roadway and bridge sheeting, while McKinney Drilling in Colmar, Pa., has completed drilling 36-in. (91.4 cm) diameter shafts inserted with W24 x 162 soldier piles at 35 ft. (10.7 m) long.

Currently, Northeast Remsco is fielding between 12 and 18 employees on the job site.

Its equipment fleet includes various Caterpillar excavators and loaders for general construction work and 40- and 55-ton (36.3 and 49.9 t) Grove hydraulic cranes used to set forms, T-walls, etc. The company has employed various hydraulic cranes from United Crane Rentals in Kenilworth, N.J., to install bridge and catenary structural steel. Northeast also will use a Gomaco bridge paver to install concrete bridge decks and concrete boom pumps supplied by Alexander Wagner Company Inc., of Paterson, N.J., to pour footings, abutment walls, wingwalls and bridge decks.

Work remaining on the project includes:

• Soil anchors for retaining wall #2, which will be provided and installed by Schnabel Foundation Company, King of Prussia, Pa.

• Installation of precast T-wall #2 retaining wall system, also fabricated by the Fort Miller Company.

• Erection of structural steel bridge girders for stage 2.

• Installation of reinforcing steel and deck pour for bridge for stage 2.

• Shifting vehicular and pedestrian traffic from the existing bridge to the new structure, demolition of the old span and completion of stage 2 bridge and roadwork.

• Architectural surface treatment of abutment and retaining walls, wingwalls and parapet for the entire project.

• Miscellaneous utility relocations with respect to the new road and bridge configurations.

Northeast Remsco also constructed the Rockaway Road bridge over the same line in Randolph, N.J., for NJDOT two years ago, as well as the N.J. Transit Madison Train Station ADA Improvements in Madison, N.J. The latter project was awarded the 2007 New Jersey Historic Preservation Award for excellence in historic restoration work.

(This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s Web site at CEG

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