Bayonne expansion

The project to lift the Bayonne Bridge, increasing clearance beneath it for post-Panamax ships, involves the installation of new expansion joints of various types along its length

The Bayonne Bridge, which connects the city of Bayonne in New Jersey with Staten Island, New York, has a length of 5,780 feet (1,762 m) and was the longest steel arch bridge in the world from the time of its opening in 1931 until 1976. In 2013, prompted by the expansion of the Panama Canal, a $743.3 million project was awarded to raise the bridge deck within the original steel arch, increasing the clearance for shipping. The significance of this Skanska Koch-Kiewit JV project cannot be overstated as fully 12 % of all US-bound international container ships currently pass under the bridge.

The new bridge deck, 64 feet (19.5 m) higher than the original one, is currently being equipped with mageba expansion joints of various types. These include eighteen TENSA®MODULAR joints on the approach spans, designed with up to 6 gaps to accommodate 17.7 in (450 mm) of movement, and four TENSA®FINGER sliding finger joints at the main span, designed for up to 31.5 in (800 mm) of movement. These sliding finger joints were sole-sourced by the client, having concluded that mageba was the only proven supplier of sliding finger joints with the required longitudinal and vertical movement capacities. This capability has been demonstrated, for example, by the joints supplied for the Audubon Bridge in Louisiana, which were installed in 2010 with longitudinal movement capacities of up to 48.8 inches (1240 mm). The bridge’s movements will also be facilitated by mageba sliding plate expansion joints, installed in the structure’s shared-use pedestrian and cycle paths.

All of the expansion joints have been designed, fabricated and delivered to site, and approximately half of them have already been installed, with installation of the rest expected to be completed by the end of 2018. And when the construction work has been completed in 2019, the newly raised deck of the Bayonne Bridge will be able to accommodate all expansion and contraction movements, and all other design movements and rotations, with expansion joint solutions that have been optimally selected to satisfy the specific needs and conditions arising at each individual location.

About 12% of all US-bound international container ships currently pass under the Bayonne Bridge. This picture shows the original structure

This picture shows the raised structure (with clearance below increased by 64 ft)

Assembly of installation brackets on TENSA®FINGER sliding finger joints (types GF200 and GF300) of the main span

TENSA®FINGER GF800 sliding finger joint during installation, with transportation and pre-setting frames connected to the top surface

Installation of a TENSA®MODULAR expansion joint on the bridge

Installation of a TENSA®FINGER sliding finger joint on site – pouring of concrete following confirmation of pre-setting and precise positioning