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Infrastructure News - June 2008

Major Overhaul on Bridge in Brooklyn

Construction on the Hamilton Avenue Bridge over the Gowanus Canal is on schedule. Also, 9W ramps in NJ under construction.

NJDOT Revamps Intersection

The New Jersey Department of Transportation recently began construction to improve the intersection of Route 23 and Route 94 in Hamburg, New Jersey.

The project involves realigning and widening the existing intersection and addition dedicated left turn lanes on all four approaches. New Jersey-based general contractor Concrete Construction Corporation will also build crosswalks and traffic signals with pedestrian push buttons. For aesthetic improvements, brick borders between the sidewalk and curb will installed and new sidewalks will be constructed.

The project will also include the construction of the Orchard Street Extension, which will intersect with Route 94 and Main Street. Ten diagonal parking spots, sidewalks and crosswalks will also be part of the new street extension.

A new 13-space parking lot on the corner of Route 23 and Linwood Avenue will be added as well as a small park of the Route 23 and 94 intersection.

Demolition and utility work began on the $5.8 million project in March 2008. It is slated for completion in the fall of 2010.

“Improving this intersection will make traveling downtown in Hamburg Borough safer,” said NJDOT Commissioner Kris Kolluri. “Safety is paramount to residents who travel this intersection on a daily basis, and we are pleased to have been able to work closely with the local officials to bring this important project to construction.”

Hamilton Bridge Reconstruction Underway

One of last three skewed, moveable, bascule bridges in the United States, the Hamilton Avenue Bridge over the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, is undergoing a major restoration.

As part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s ongoing bridge evaluation process, the structure underwent an inspection and was scheduled for construction because of weather, age, daily traffic and pedestrian use effects.

The 66-year-old bridge has two parallel leaves, one for the northbound roadway (East Bridge) and the other for southbound traffic (West Bridge), each with four lanes, which will be widened to accommodate the 45,000 vehicles that use it daily, estimated NYCDOT.

The reconstructed Hamilton Avenue Bridge will feature new mechanical and electrical operating systems, an improved fender system and navigation lighting for marine traffic. The existing control house and gate tender house will also be renovated.

The new bascule leaves will be fabricated, shop assembled and tested off-site then shipped to the site and erected on the rehabilitated piers, said NYCDOT.

NYCDOT will use the float-out technique by lowering the old bridge in pieces or wholly onto a barge or vessel to be shipped away. The new bridge will be installed in one piece by the use of waterways and onto the piers by the float in technique, explained Craig Chin, assistant press secretary for NYCDOT.

“The existing east Hamilton Avenue Bridge was cut into sections, lowered in barges and shipped away,” said Chin. “Because of tight and unsafe conditions in addition to narrow width of the canal and the geometry of the bridge, float in technique was not used here.” NYCDOT, however is anticipating the use of both techniques in the construction and demolition of the West Bridge.

Nebraska-based Kiewit Corporation won the project bid for $55 million in August 2005 and the team began the first of five construction phases that same month.

The team completed phase two, the East Bridge replacement, in August 2007 as well as phase three, performing fabrication and preparatory work off-site for the southbound lane work, which is phase four and will begin in June.

The most challenging aspects of the project were technical issues and fabrication of bridge components including steel and machinery, said Chin. “All components must come together for [an] almost perfect fit so that a movable bridge functions properly as it should . . . tight area to work in the site, maintenance and protection of marine and vehicular traffic during reconstruction in addition to underwater excavation for submarine cable installation added excitement to the already challenging project.”

Traffic delays have been anticipated and all work requiring full roadway closure has been scheduled for summer periods when overall traffic volume is reduced and school bus traffic is at a minimum, said NYCDOT.

The project is slated for completion in January 2009, but NYCDOT has included an incentive in the contract to drive an earlier date. “We anticipate that early finish will be possible given that lessons were learned during last summer’s reconstruction of the East Bridge,” said Chin.

To reconstruct the East Hamilton Avenue Bridge, the incentive and disincentive were $25,500 per consecutive calendar day. For reconstructing the West Hamilton Avenue Bridge the incentive and disincentive are $13,500 per consecutive calendar day. Each incentive has a maximum of 12 days.

NJDOT Begins Major Ramp Construction in Fort Lee

Construction has recently started on the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s project to reconstruct the Route 9W ramps onto I-95 in Fort Lee in Bergen County.

“This $4.4 million project will improve safety throughout this vital interchange and increase the efficiency of the Route 9W ramps,” said NJDOT Commissioner Kris Kolluri. “These improvements represent a tangible increase in safety for the commuters who travel this intersection on a daily basis."

The project includes widening southbound Route 9W, as well as the ramp to westbound Route 4. On southbound 9W, a right-turn lane leading to the Route 4 ramp and I-95 ramp will be added. A raised concrete curb median along Route 9W will be constructed to prevent motorists from making left turns and cross movements.

To improve traffic flow, new sign support structures and ground-mounted signs will be installed.

NJDOT plans to keep Route 9W open in all directions throughout construction, with the possibility of single lane closures.

General contractor New Prince Concrete of Hackensack began the project in March 2008 and it is scheduled for completion in July 2009.


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