Gateway Project/NYP Capacity Improvement

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The Infrastructure bill finally passed the House last night. I assume it has money in it for Gateway as part of the 66 Billion for rail? As Speaker Pelosi would say, we have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.
 
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jis

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DSS&A

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jis

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The contract is now signed for the construction of the Portal North Bridge. Construction begins this year and runs to 2027.

 

neroden

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Why does it take 5 years?
Bridges, especially over water, take TIME. Some very short bridges over a flood control channel in Ithaca took three years each (they were all done in parallel).

First you often have to put something similar to sandbags down and dewater around where the piers or endwalls are going to go. Big tedious thing. Sometimes you can jackhammer them in without removing the water, which is also a big tedious slow thing. Then you have to dig the holes for the piers or endwalls, and put in the foundation (piers, slurry walls, secant walls, whatever it is); pour the concrete...

Then, at least in certain types of soil, you may have to let the foundation SETTLE for a year (that was actually an explicit part of the construction in these bridges in Ithaca)!

Then you can build the pier or endwall caps (and wait for that concrete to cure).

And then put in the structural spans, and then the deck and the road or railroad or whatever.

And this is a long bridge with a lot of piers. They don't generally do the piers all at once because it's a specialist job and they simply don't have the equipment or specialized labor to do a whole lot in parallel; I'd expect one team working on the in-water piers (basically one at a time), one team for the west-side approach piers (again one at a time), and one for the east-side approach piers (again one at a time). (Three teams because the soil situation is different in the three cases, so it'll be using three different techniques, so three different specialist teams.)

Five years is normal. This is working in a navigable channel and in wetlands, with various restrictions. The entire first year is going to be setting up logistics for moving the equipment in and out without environmental damage and without navigation interference, clearing and dewatering locations around the piers, and foundation work. The second year is probably still going to be all piers and earthmoving. In the third year you may start to see more than half-finished pillars sticking out of the ground or the water. Once all the pillars are up, then the rest will go fairly quickly.


If you want to get a sense of the pacing on this stuff, watch the Roaming Railfan's videos on bridge construction for Brightline. They have the advantage that the endwalls are often already there and can be reused.

It may be counterintuitive, but expect to see construction equipment, barges, cranes, and nothing much above ground level for the first year's construction; nothing but poles sticking out of the land and water for the second year; and then probably in the fourth year, it'll start looking like a bridge practically overnight as the spans go in.
 
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