Award of Excellence: Transportation Category
Newark Bay Bridge Rehabilitation
Woodbridge, New Jersey
Submitted by BASF Building Systems
New Jersey Turnpike Authority
Ahmann and Whitney
New York City, NY
Ferreira, Tutor, Perini a Joint Venture
Jersey City, NJ
BASF Building Systems
Constructed in 1956, the Newark Bay Bridge is a steel through-arch bridge that crosses the Newark Bay across three spans. The main span is 1270 ft (387 m) with a 135 ft (41 m) clearance over the water. Providing access from the New Jersey Turnpike’s main roadway to the Holland Tunnel, which continues to Lower Manhattan in New York City, the Newark Bay Bridge sees significant traffic each day.
The structure, consisting of four lanes of traffic with two shoulders, was experiencing severely deteriorated concrete decking. With such a highly trafficked bridge, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority needed to replace the bridge deck using precast elements without closing the bridge to traffic. In the spring of 2010, the New Jersey Turnpike put out a bid to rehabilitate the concrete deck on the Newark Bay Bridge. The prime objective of the project was to replace the existing concrete bridge deck with precast deck panels over 60,000 yd2 (50,167 m2) of the structure.
Because the Authority did not want to close the bridge to traffic during the repairs, the work was mainly done at night on a compressed schedule, and technology was adopted that would not be affected by significant deflection caused by the ongoing high volume of traffic.
The optimized construction method consisted of the removal of the existing deck in 6 x 8 ft (1.8 x 2.4 m) sections, installation of new shear studs, installation of nearly 1740 customized precast planks, and pumping grout into haunch and slab joint areas. The surface was then micro-milled to achieve the new roadway riding surface.