|Construction Achievement Project of the Year Award|
This award is presented for a major construction project completed within the past year within the New York metropolitan area. The Construction Achievement Award was instituted by the Metropolitan Section in 1966.
2012 Recipient:Replacement of the Willis Avenue Bridge
New York City Department of Transportation
Kiewit Constructors, Inc. / Weeks Marine, JV
Hardesty & Hanover, LLP
Willis Avenue Bridge Company - A Joint Venture of Parsons and STV Incorporated
The hundred year old Willis Avenue Swing Bridge over the Harlem River was completely replaced under a $612 million project, the largest ever undertaken by the Movable Bridge Group of the New York City Department of Transportation's Division of Bridges. The construction contract was awarded to the joint venture of Kiewit Constructors, Inc. / Weeks Marine in August 2007. The project was designed by Hardesty & Hanover Consulting Engineers with Resident Engineering provided by the Willis Avenue Bridge Company, a joint venture of Parsons and STV Incorporated. The project was complex by any standard with the combined constraints of a dense urban location situated in two political jurisdictions, varying site conditions, and a myriad of stakeholder permits and approvals required. River navigation, as well as numerous roadways and a rail yard, could all have been affected by construction activities, yet all modes of interfacing traffic needed to be continuously maintained. The solution was to build the new bridge alongside the old one while matching five existing roadway tie in points. The large sections of the approach spans were constructed first concurrently with the foundation work in the river. By doing this, installing the swing span as the final link allowed for a quick shift of traffic to the new bridge. The new swing span was assembled off site and floated on barges to its final position. The assembly occurred near Albany and a 160 mile journey down the Hudson River and around Manhattan proved to be a dramatic and effective solution. After much fanfare, the centerpiece of the project, the new 2,500 ton, 350 foot long swing span opened to traffic in October 2010, and the remaining approach span ramp connections were completed.
The new main span can swing open to allow tall vessels to pass but its regular duty is carrying over 70,000 vehicles per day. The entire swing span is centrally supported on the world's largest spherical roller thrust bearing used in this application. Over three quarters of a mile of multi-lane approach viaducts and ramps were constructed. In addition to the four traffic lanes, a continuous bikeway / walkway now connects Manhattan and The Bronx along the north side of the new bridge with direct ADA compliant waterfront access. The tight curves and rough riding surface of the old bridge are things of the past. Sustainable and unique features of the bridge include the 271 drilled shafts reaching depths of up to 140 feet; the 623 minipiles carefully constructed around site constraints, the vessel impact protection fender system which incorporated over 800 fiber reinforced concrete piles; and large precast concrete pier boxes lifted into place with heavy floating equipment and incorporated into the four river piers. Context sensitive features included using arched pier details reminiscent of the original ones and repurposing of granite masonry in area parks. The contractor deployed multiple coordinated teams across the project to address the broad range of specialty work required and assure that work remained on schedule. At the peak of construction the contractor's workforce grew to nearly 500 workers. The local communities have been very supportive of this major undertaking since the construction impacts are minimal and the work was so clearly needed. The bridge was opened to traffic nearly a year ahead of schedule.
|Civil Engineer of the Year|
|Homer Gage Balcom|
|Thomas C. Kavanagh|
|Young Government CE|
|ASCE National Website|