Bayonne Bridge project wins top civil engineering award from ASCE

March 31, 2020

The bridge redesign earned the organization’s Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement award

The Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance project has been awarded the top project honor from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

On March 13, the bridge redesign earned the organization’s Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement award, given annually to the project that best illustrates superior civil engineering skills and represents a significant contribution to civil engineering progress and society. The award was presented at ASCE’s annual Outstanding Projects and Leaders gala.

Utilizing a first-of-its-kind construction sequence, the design team at HDR partnered with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to raise the new Bayonne Bridge deck 64 ft over the existing roadway and within the existing arch structure. Using this method, both vehicular and vessel traffic were able to continue during construction. The increased clearance allows larger vessels to travel beneath the bridge on their way to the ports of Newark and Elizabeth.

As the lead design firm in a joint venture with WSP USA, HDR designed the new deck for the main bridge span, the strengthening of the historic arch for increased wind loading and the new segmental concrete approach superstructures. In September 2017, the old roadway was removed and the first post-Panamax freight cargo ship passed beneath the new bridge unencumbered. All four lanes of the new bridge opened in February 2019.

“Our team’s creativity and engineering acumen was on full display on this landmark project,” HDR Transportation President Brent Felker said in a statement. “We’re proud to deliver such a historic effort for the people of New York and New Jersey.”

A panel of nine judges picked the recipient of the award based on originality and innovation; resourcefulness in planning and solving design challenges; sustainability considerations; and project planning and delivery.

The Bayonne Bridge was also named as the No. 1 bridge project in Roads & Bridges' Top 10 Bridges of 2019.