Willis Avenue Bridge Transport

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Location: New York, NY
Owner: City of New York
Completion Date: August 17, 2015
Categories: Marine Services, Towing
The Towing Division played a vital role in the delivery and final placement of the new Willis Avenue Bridge along with the removal of the old Willis Avenue bridge spans. Our shore-side staff worked with the staff engineers in the very early stages of the project to develop the safest and most cost effective method to transport the new bridge section from its construction site in Coeymans, New York to Willis Avenue on the Harlem River. Once the final method of transportation was decided our staff worked with the project engineers on the details of the voyage plans and presented them to the Coast Guard and various other city, state, and federal agencies for approvals. Upon approval of the plans the Towing Division provided the tugs and in-house pilot to perform the three separate phases of the delivery of the new bridge section. The first and longest transit was from the fabrication site in Coeymans, New York to a temporary berth in our Jersey City yard. The next tow required the bridge being towed from our Jersey City yard to the Willis Avenue project site on the Harlem River. This twelve mile journey required the use of four tugs to safely guide the tow through the six bridges as the tow proceeded across the Upper Bay and through the East River and Harlem River. Once the tow arrived at the Willis Avenue Project site it was temporarily moored until all the final preparations where made for the final placement. The final tow began with the trans-loading of the new bridge section from the “Twin-Barges” to the “Catamaran” barges which was accomplished by precise ballasting operations and positioning with four tugs. Once the trans-loading was complete the new bridge section supported on the “Catamaran” barges was gently and precisely positioned into place utilizing the four tugs and winches. Once the new bridge span was in place the Towing Division staff once again worked with the project engineers, city, state, federal agencies and the Coast Guard to develop the towing plans to remove the old “swing span” and “Flanking” span from the project site. The Towing Division supplied the tugs and in-house pilot to tow these spans from the Willis Avenue site on the Harlem River to a scrap facility in Jersey City.