The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey in the USA has announced a new timeline and cost estimate for the project to raise the deck of the Bayonne Bridge.
Construction challenges and the harsh 2014 winter mean that the increased navigational clearance to accommodate larger ‘Post-Panamax’ ships is now expected to be in place by late 2017. Project completion is expected in mid-2019, potentially resulting in an increase in total project costs of approximately 15%.
The complex US$1.3 billion ‘Raise the Roadway’ project involves raising the bridge’s roadway from a height of 46m to 65.5m (151 feet to 215 feet). A joint venture of Skanska Koch and Kiewit Infrastructure is building a new deckabove the existing road, while minimising disruption to traffic on the lower deck.
The project also will provide drivers with wider lanes, new shoulders, a median divider and a cycle and pedestrian walkway.
"The Bayonne Bridge's 'Raise the Roadway' project is one of the most innovative and challenging projects the Port Authority has ever undertaken, and will help maintain our position as the East Coast's premier port for international trade," said executive director Pat Foye. "Although a number of challenges have impacted the project's timetable, we continue to monitor the Skanska JV's construction progress and, together with Skanska JV, anticipate completion within the schedule announced today."
Michael Cobelli, president and CEO of Skanska Civil, said, "We are confident that we will complete the Bayonne Bridge's 'Raise the Roadway' project within the revised timetable. This has been a challenging project, but we have committed the resources to complete it successfully, with full awareness of how vitally important it is for the regional economy."
Challenges that have necessitated the push-back of the construction schedule include the harsh winter of 2014-2015, changes in project staging to address community concerns, modifications to the existing steel arch and complicated steelwork activities that required additional repairs and modifications.
Construction is almost 50% complete, with US$380m-worth of construction in place.