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  • Kevin O'Neill

Siefert to Present at ASCE Dinner Meeting in Fairfield County

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 5:30pm to 9:00pm

Bayonne Bridge Main Span Erection

The Bayonne Bridge is an arch bridge spanning the Kill Van Kull connecting Bayonne, New Jersey, with Staten Island, New York City. At the time of construction in 1931, it was the largest steel arch span bridge in the world. Today, the bridge ranks fourth on the list of such spans; however, the bridge is only 151 feet above the water. Large container ships cannot reach the marine terminals of New York and New Jersey; rather, a large number of smaller vessels currently serve these Ports. In 2013, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey [PANYNJ], which owns the Bayonne Bridge, advertised the Navigational Clearance Project and selected Skanska-Koch Kiewit Joint Venture as the contractor tasked to, “Raise the Roadway.” The new bridge, which runs through the existing steel arch span, will allow New Panamax ships to access these ports by providing 64ft of additional clearance to the water below, totaling 215 feet. This presentation explores the challenges of erecting the steel of the new main span roadway through the existing arch while the bridge remained open to traffic during construction highlighting:

  • the surgical erection of new structural elements through existing steel and suspender cables

  • the analysis of the existing structure under the load of hydraulic cranes during limited closures, and

  • the design and implementation of custom rigging equipment and various other temporary works

Through the account of a Construction Engineer on this high-profile project with tight spatial limitations, the attendees will learn of the construction challenges and how they were overcome, which may benefit them on future projects.


Kevin O’Neill, P.E., and Thomas Rabinko, E.I.T., of Siefert Associates

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