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Raising NY Bridge Deck Gets Finish Date

Monday, January 28, 2019

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Work on elevating the deck of the Bayonne Bridge from 151 feet to 215 feet—a six-year project costing nearly $1.7 billion—is slated for completion by the end of March, according to reports.

The so-called “Raise the Roadway” project, aimed at increasing the navigational clearance in the Kill van Kull strait from 151 feet to 215 feet, began in 2013. A new deck was built above the original, while the arch itself remained intact and traffic continued using the lower deck.

Cost Overruns

The job was originally estimated at about $1.3 billion and the old deck was scheduled to be demolished in 2016, but a number of setbacks meant delays to the timeline and rising costs.

The latest cost estimate for the project is $1.692 billion, as revealed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last week—a $38 million increase over the agency’s most recent prior estimate, and an overage of about 30 percent compared with the original price tag.

According to, Port Authority officials blamed the cost overrun on design changes and unanticipated construction work—issues that could have been avoided with better agency oversight. The Port Authority reportedly increased its scrutiny of the project after the target date for the removal of the old deck was pushed back in 2015, from the original 2016 date to late 2017.

At the time, the Port Authority blamed the delays on “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.”

Nearing Completion

Once completed at the end of March, the Bayonne Bridge will feature two, 12-foot-wide lanes running in each direction, along with outside and inside shoulders and 10-foot-wide cyclist/pedestrian path.

Steve Plate, chief of major capital projects for the Port Authority, noted in 2018 that the work was like “performing open-heart surgery on a runner while he’s running a marathon. We had to keep it open, move thousands of cars a day, goods and services were coming in by ship, and we had to keep that all happening,”


Tagged categories: Bridges; Completed projects; Construction; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management

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