Source: Newark Patch
October 4th 2015
The $1.3 billion project to raise the Bayonne Bridge has hit some snags, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced on Thursday.
Navigational clearance at the Bayonne Bridge for the world’s largest container ships under the Port Authority’s ambitious “Raise the Roadway” project is now expected in late 2017, according to the agency’s revised timetable for the complex undertaking.
Project completion is expected in mid-2019, potentially resulting in an increase in total project costs of approximately 15 percent.
According to a release, the $1.3 billion initiative is progressing with the innovative engineering feat of raising the Bayonne Bridge’s existing 151-foot roadway to 215 feet, the same height as the nearby Verrazano-Narrows Bridge under which container ships also pass en route to Port Newark/Elizabeth and Howland Hook, while maintaining vehicular traffic flow.
The project is under construction by the joint venture of Skanska Koch/Kiewit Infrastructure Co. (JV).
The project will provide drivers with a “modern roadway with safer, wider 12-foot lanes, new shoulders, a median divider and a 12-foot bike and pedestrian walkway,” authorities stated in a release.
When complete, the higher bridge elevation is also expected to reduce noise and traffic in nearby residential communities, authorities stated.
According to the Port Authority, “Raise the Roadway” project is the first time engineers are constructing a bridge roadway deck above the existing roadway, while ensuring limited disruption to traffic on the lower deck.
According to the Port Authority, numerous challenges have necessitated the push-back of the construction schedule. These factors include: the harsh winter of 2014-2015; changes in project staging to address community concerns and reduce construction impacts overnight; modifications to the existing steel arch to ensure safety and allow traffic to continue during construction; as well as complicated steel reinforcement activities that required additional repairs and modifications.
Currently, the construction on the “Raise the Roadway” project is almost 50 percent complete, with $380 million worth of construction in place, a release stated.
According to authorities, the northbound roadway foundations are fully complete. The New York and New Jersey abutments are 95-percent complete and the installation of pier segments is 50-percent complete. For the arch and structural steel work, steel fabrication is 90-percent complete and the New York and New Jersey towers are 85-percent complete, while the steel strengthening effort is 55-percent complete.
Installation of the new suspender and deck system is set to begin after substantial completion of the arch steel strengthening, a release stated.