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Superstructure Rehabilitation of NB and SB Bruckner Bridges

The Bruckner Expressway Bridges are adjacent bridges in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx, N.Y., which carry two lanes of main line traffic and two lanes of service road in each direction of Bruckner Expressway (I-95) across two Amtrak and two CSX tracks. In October 2005, an oil tanker truck caught fire on the northbound bridge. The fire caused a downward deflection in the bridge girders, which reduced clearance by several inches, limiting railroad operations and increasing the potential for trains to hit the bridge.

OHL North America company, Judlau Contracting, Inc. (Judlau) was part of a design-build team that repaired the fire damage. The scope of work for the northbound bridge called for superstructure replacement, reconstruction of abutment back walls and bridge seats, and bearing replacement. A new 20-in.-diam. water main and new Con Edison electric ducts were installed as well. The scope of work for the southbound bridge included deck replacement, bearing replacement, back-wall reconstruction, rehabilitation and painting of the existing steel-truss superstructure and installation of a 12-in.-diam. water main and Con Edison electric ducts.

Because the Bruckner Expressway is a major connection between the Triborough Bridge and the New England Thruway, the contract allowed only nightly lane closures for one lane of main line and one lane of service road in both directions. Judlau had to restore all lanes and detours for the morning rush hours. To minimize schedule impacts caused by curing times required in cast-in-place concrete construction, precast concrete components were designed for all structural bridge elements and sized to minimize the number of joints while considering load- carrying capacity of the equipment used to place them.

Judlau ensured worker safety and minimized impact to the railroad operations by installing a protective shield below each bridge to catch debris, providing a two-week look-a-head schedule to allow proper coordination of railroad flagging and electrification crews.