Skanska Koch was awarded this $508 million contract to rehabilitate the approaches on the Brooklyn Bridge, one of New York City’s most recognized landmarks. The bridge is part of the program which the client initiated some years ago to rebuild all of the East River crossings in order bring them up to modern standards. Skanska Koch has worked on all of the structures including the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges as well as the Triborough Bridge.
The contract requires the reconstruction of the approaches in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. The length of the approaches and the main bridge is approximately 5,000 feet long and there are also a number of elevated ramps leading to the Manhattan approach. The project also includes replacement of approximately 600 bridge bearings and repainting of the entire structure. The leadbased paint will be removed and handled in an environmentally-correct manner approved by the client and will be replaced by an environmentally compliant paint.
During night time and weekend closures the project team will remove and replace sections of the roadway and restore the ramps to traffic. The next morning commuters will find traffic flowing on a completely new road that is wider and stronger. Work will be performed on the approaches from both Manhattan, primarily from FDR Drive, and Brooklyn. The bridge itself has three lanes for traffic in each direction, while the ramps have one or two lanes. There is also a bike and pedestrian path.
Since the Brooklyn Bridge is a historic structure special measures are being taken to preserve some of its original elements. In addition to restoring the bridge and maintaining its structures, the project is intended to increase the capacity of the access ramps and strengthen the bridge. Previously, Skanska Koch undertook an emergency contract to install the steel arch supports over Pearl Street in Franklin Square. This work was completed in 2000 to support the old structure.
The Brooklyn Bridge was originally designed to carry horse and buggies and trolly cars. It is presently graded for car traffic only, not trucks. Although reinforcements have been added to strengthen it, it is still the only bridge in New York City on which trucks are not allowed. The last truck crossed the bridge in 1922.