On Aug. 31 at approximately 3:00 a.m., the east span of the Hamilton Avenue Bridge opened to traffic. The span was completed ahead of schedule. The west span of the bridge will open in Aug. 2008.
The Hamilton Avenue Bridge carries a total of eight lanes of traffic over the Gowanus Canal—a heavily traveled waterway for commercial barges. The bridge is comprised of two bridges, each consisting of one bascule span with each span carrying four lanes of one-way traffic (one northbound and one southbound) and a pedestrian sidewalk. Hardesty & Hanover LLP (as Waddell & Hardesty) designed the existing bridges based on the patented Hanover skew design—an innovative approach to skewed bascule crossings. The Hamilton Avenue Bridge is one of the two remaining structures of this type.
Hardesty & Hanover’s services for this bridge reconstruction project included replacement of the two movable span superstructures, replacement of the mechanical and electrical systems and replacement of the existing pier protection system. The superstructure replacement included widening of the existing roadway on the movable span to carry 4-ft, 11-in.-wide lanes on each bridge. This widening required modification to the existing piers designated to remain in order to accommodate the new spans. Due to heavy volumes of traffic on the roadway, each bridge is to be replaced in a two-month roadway closure period. The closures occur in July and August, the lowest traffic volume months, in 2007 and 2008 for east and west spans, respectively. During these periods both directions of traffic will be carried by the adjacent bridge. This project is currently under construction with anticipated completion date of Jan. 2009. Hardesty & Hanover is providing construction support services for this phase of the project.