Alexander Hamilton Bridge and Highbridge Interchange Rehabilitation Project, The Bronx

Photo Courtesy of Halmar International

As the largest single-contract construction project in the New York State Dept. of Transportation's history—at $407 million—the span that connects Manhattan and the Bronx had not undergone major repairs since it opened in 1963 and was in need of attention.

The project, which was almost entirely federally funded, included rehabilitating nine bridges and more than a mile of the Cross-Bronx Expressway as well as building eight bridge structures and four temporary ramps. Work included removal, replacement and widening of the 1,525-ft concrete bridge decks by 30 ft to meet current federal standards. The team added four girders to increase the width.

The project also involved retrofitting the main 505-ft steel arch span and steel support beams; painting the steel superstructure; repairing and replacing support piers and foundations; and adding highway shoulders in both directions of traffic.

The team removed and replaced pavement joints in the bridge deck and replaced bearings, drainage components, overhead sign structures and highway lighting.

Among the major challenges of this project, maintaining traffic flow throughout the 49-month construction project was daunting, especially with an average of 300,000 vehicles crossing the span daily. The team dedicated a staff of 40 to focus on ensuring smooth traffic flow.

The team's innovations included a redesign of the temporary shoring towers. To minimize time and maximize space, it used existing concrete columns as part of the shoring itself.

The revamped structure is expected to have a design life of at least 75 years.

The judges commended the team for its ability to keep the high volume of traffic moving during construction. One said that this was "quite a challenge with the scale and requirements of this project."

Key Players

Owner New York State Dept. of Transportation

General Contractor CCA Civil/Halmar International Joint Venture

Lead Designer/Structural/MEP Engineer Jacobs Engineering Group

Construction Inspection/Resident Engineering Ammann & Whitney

Subcontractors L&L Painting; Mimosa Construction; Takbeer; MaxTec; Welsbach; J&B Welding; Imperial Iron Works; Empire State Piping; JECI; Aspen; Peduto Construction; Xaren; Tech