New York giants

Seven years after completion of the first phase of refurbishing the enormous finger-type expansion joints on the extraordinarily long Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in New York, mageba is still the refurbishment supplier of choice for the demanding expansion joints.

When the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge was opened in 1964, connecting the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island, it had the world's longest span for a suspension bridge. Today, its main span of length 4,260 feet (1,300 m) is still the longest span in the Western Hemisphere. A bridge structure of such extraordinary length requires correspondingly extraordinary expansion joints to accommodate the movements the superstructure experiences due to expansion, contraction and other effects.

Having previously manufactured and installed the movement components required by many of the world’s longest bridges over a period of several decades, mageba was well positioned to supply the components needed when it became necessary to renew the huge expansion joints of this record-breaking bridge.

The two-level bridge was constructed with expansion joints of the sliding-finger type at both towers, designed to accommodate longitudinal movements of 6’ 6” and 9’ (2 m and 2.7 m) respectively, as well as expansion joints of the cantilever-finger type at the anchorages to accommodate smaller movements of 8” (200 mm). Having successfully refurbished the joints at both ends of the upper level in 2015 and 2016, our team in New York went on to do the same for the 9’ (2.7m) joint on the Brooklyn end of the lower deck in 2018 and is now supplying the same joint type for the Staten Island end of the lower deck.

When the current third phase is completed in 2024, what is arguably New York’s most spectacular structure – a real claim to fame – will again have expansion joints that can be fully relied on to serve the 200,000 vehicles that use it every day.

Bridge engineer: HNTB
Contractor: American Structural Works
Owner: MTA Bridges and Tunnels

With a length of 4,260 feet (1,300 m), the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge’s main span is the longest of any suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere

The bridge’s huge movements due to expansion, contraction, etc. are accommodated by enormous finger-type expansion joints at each end

The bridge has two levels, each carrying six lanes of traffic, and is used by over 200,000 vehicles per day

The expansion joints at both ends of the upper level were replaced in 2015 and 2016, accommodating movements of up to 9 ft (2700 mm)

The joints at the Brooklyn end of the bridge’s lower deck were then renewed in 2018, again using mageba components

The third and final phase of the project involves the renewal of the similarly huge expansion joints at the Staten Island end of the bridge’s lower deck