River Road Bridge Over Raritan Valley Railroad, Emergency Bridge Replacement
Branchburg Township, N.J.
Award of Merit
OWNER: New Jersey Dept. of Transportation
LEAD DESIGN FIRM, CIVIL ENGINEER, STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: WSP USA
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Midlantic Construction LLC
PRECAST CONCRETE: Precast Systems Inc.
STEEL FABRICATOR: Susan R. Bauer Inc.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: Richard Grubb & Associates Inc.
Sustainability, history, quality and safety were themes throughout the process of replacing a deteriorated timber-decked bridge above a NJ Transit rail line with a high-strength prestressed single-span concrete box beam superstructure fabricated off site to help expedite construction. Low-hanging high-voltage lines above the existing bridge deck overshadowed the project site in multiple ways, first requiring careful coordination of the design and installation strategy for the new structure’s 4-ft-wide, 2-ft-deep, 85-ft-long box beams, which each weighed more than 37 tons. Although the electric utility had approved a weekend outage for beam construction, the discovery that the utility lines provided essential power to a facility producing COVID-19 test kits led the team to quickly alter its plans. Enlisting another energy source to power the production facility while the utility lines were de-energized, the contractor moved quickly to install all eight beams in a single day. Along with providing a safer connection for the community, the new bridge span can accommodate NJ Transit’s plans for a future track and access road.
Photo by John Baer/Building Images Photography