New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald announced upcoming weekend closures of the bridges carrying I-84 over Dingle Ridge Road in southeast Putnam County, so that new bridges, which are being built next to the existing structures, can be slid into place as part of a $10.2 million bridge replacement project.
“By sliding prebuilt bridges into place in the span of two weekends, we are able to build the project more quickly, at a lower cost to taxpayers and with much fewer impacts to the traveling public,” McDonald said. “These modern new bridges will keep motorists safe on Interstate 84, a key commuting and shipping route between New York City and Connecticut, for decades into the future.”
Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said, “These innovative technologies help bridges get built quickly and safely. Congratulations to NYSDOT for minimizing traffic disruption, which saves time and money and delivers a safer commute.”
The new westbound bridge was scheduled to be slid into place on the weekend of Sept. 20-21.Traffic will be detoured onto Rte. 6 at Exit 1 in Connecticut and diverted back onto I-84 at Exit 20 in New York. On Oct. 19-20, the bridge carrying I-84 eastbound will be closed for replacement, with a similar detour. The closures will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday and last through Sunday.
Dingle Ridge Road will be closed beginning on the Friday morning before each weekend interstate closure and will remain closed through the Wednesday evenings following the interstate closures.
Traffic impacts along the Rte. 6 detour are expected to be significant during the weekend closure periods. Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible.
Construction began in June to build foundations for the new bridges. Precast concrete bridge beams were fabricated off-site, shipped to the site and assembled just to the north of each bridge. During the weekend closures, the existing bridges will be demolished, the new bridges will be slid sideways into place and secured, and the approaches to the bridge will be paved. Each bridge is expected to take approximately 18 hours to replace, with one bridge being completed each weekend.
This new technique will save taxpayers a minimum of $2 million by eliminating the need for construction of a temporary bridge to carry traffic during construction. It will also reduce the length of construction by at least one year, since both bridges will be built at the same time. This construction method could be used to replace similar bridges along heavily traveled corridors in the future.
The modern design and construction method was developed under the Transportation Research Board (TRB), a national organization dedicated to promoting innovation in transportation through research. TRB designed the project with NYSDOT. The techniques developed for this project will be added to a toolbox of innovative bridge construction methods that will be shared nationally. New York State bridge engineers continue to be leaders in progressive bridge construction and design practice. Commissioner McDonald is a member of the TRB’s Executive Committee.
This section of I-84, which connects New York and Connecticut, is heavily traveled, with an average of nearly 75,000 vehicles using it each day.
Construction, including demolishing foundations of the old bridges and landscaping, will continue through January. This work is not expected to impact traffic.
The construction contractor for the project is Yonkers Contracting Co. Inc. of Westchester County.