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Cable-Stayed Span Replaces NY-NJ Bridge

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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Staten Island’s $1.5 billion Goethals Bridge project has hit a milestone, as the first of two spans that will replace the 89-year-old original bridge, spanning the Arthur Kill, opened Sunday (June 11).

The Goethals replacement project, which began in 2014, is projected to be complete in 2018. The new bridge’s twin spans will encompass six 12-foot lanes of traffic and a pedestrian/bicycle pathway when the construction is done; for now, the southern span is accommodating two lanes of traffic in each direction.

Goethals Bridge
Via Goethals Bridge Webcam

The southern span of the Goathals Bridge replacement (shown here on June 7, at right) is now complete, and demolition of the old steel truss cantilever bridge (left) will begin.

The 7,109-foot-long Goethals Bridge, a steel truss cantilever structure opened in 1928, closed Friday and will be now demolished. Named for George W. Goethals, a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey engineer who oversaw the construction of the Panama Canal, the old bridge was considered functionally obsolete by the 21st century.

The Goethals connects Staten Island with Elizabeth, New Jersey. According to the Port Authority, more than 14 million vehicles crossed the bridge in 2013, equaling more than 38,000 vehicles daily in one direction.

Cable-Stayed Spans

The new Goethals Bridge twin spans are cable-stayed bridges with a 138-foot clearance above the water, about the same as the old bridge. They are being built with a space in between that will be sufficient if a transit route is added later.

The twin spans are being built through a public-private partnership, by a joint venture called NYNJ Link Developer LLC, created by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, and Kiewit Infrastructure. The joint venture designed, financed and is constructing the spans, and will be responsible for their maintenance for their first 35 years. Some of the funding acquired by the joint venture came through federal financing.

The Port Authority will be responsible for collecting tolls on the bridge.

The new spans will include “smart bridge” technology that will sense weather and traffic conditions as well as structural conditions. The Port Authority says sensors on the bridge are designed to discover structural issues before human inspectors could ever detect them.

Cable-Stayed Comes to New York

The first major cable-stayed span to open in New York City was unveiled just weeks ago: The first of two spans replacing the Kosciuszko Bridge, on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, opened April 27. (The New York Times notes that the city does have some cable-stayed pedestrian bridges.)

Another major bridge replacement, the New NY Bridge, which will take the place of the Tappan Zee Bridge, is on schedule for a major milestone later this year. The first of two 3.1-mile-long cable-stayed spans that will make up that bridge is slated to open to traffic before 2018.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Construction; Contractors; Infrastructure; North America; Port Authority of New Jersey; Port Authority of New York; Program/Project Management; Public-private partnerships (P3)

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