Raising the Bayonne Bridge Named Year’s Most Outstanding Engineering Triumph

Design and construction of a new roadway within the steel-arch Bayonne Bridge — 64 feet above an existing highway it was to replace — has won the 2018 “Grand Conceptor” Award signifying the year’s most outstanding engineering achievement. The award was earned as part of the 51st annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) — a global competition sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).

More than 650 attended Tuesday night’s black-tie EEA Gala in Washington, D.C., hosted by Actor/Comedian Kevin Nealon. The event recognized 146 preeminent engineering accomplishments throughout the nation and the world.

Challenged that the bridge’s previous 151-foot navigation clearance was too low to accommodate anticipated influx of huge “Panamax” cargo ships on route to the Port of New York and New Jersey, the project increased clearance to a needed 215 feet by constructing a roadway above the existing one, while the existing road remained in operation, before it was subsequently demolished.

Designed by the joint venture of HDR and WSP USA, the project added more than 4,000 tons of steel strengthening plates to support the structure’s temporary double-road condition during construction. In addition to increasing navigation clearance, the new bridge now has wider lanes, concrete medians, a shared-use path, and can incorporate a light rail line in the future.

The new Bayonne Bridge joins the SR 520 Floating Bridge in Seattle (2017); the San Francisco Air Traffic Control Tower (2016); the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge East Span (2015); and the Wacker Drive/Congress Parkway Reconstruction in Chicago (2014); as recent most outstanding engineering achievements of the year winners.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing nearly 5,200 independent engineering companies throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities.   Founded in 1905 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 52 state and regional organizations.

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