New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced that the new Willis Avenue Bridge is expected to arrive in New York Harbor tomorrow morning after being towed down the Hudson River from the Coeymans, NY, work yard where it was built. The new bridge, which will replace the existing, 109-year-old structure that spans the Harlem River, will be docked at the Weeks Marine Yard in Jersey City, NJ before being transported to its permanent home linking Willis Avenue in the Bronx and First Avenue in Manhattan later this month, with installation occurring in early August.
"Coming all the way downriver, this new bridge is a well-travelled investment in our city’s infrastructure and in the city’s economic future," said NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "The new bridge will enhance mobility for some 70,000 motorists between the Bronx and Manhattan while making sure the Harlem River remains accessible to marine traffic."
Carried by twin barges, the 350-foot-long, 2,400-ton steel structure the structure departed Coeymans, NY this morning and will pass beneath the George Washington Bridge and continue down the Hudson to New York Harbor before arriving in Jersey City by 5:30 a.m. tomorrow.
The bridge replacement is part of a $612 million project to replace the existing "swing" bridge, which opens on a pivot to allow marine traffic to pass on the Harlem River. The replacement bridge contains parts manufactured in Wisconsin and assembled in Coeymans, NY. This work is part of more than $5 billion in bridge investments made by the Bloomberg Administration since 2002, which includes rehabilitation and repainting projects on all of the City-owned East River bridges.
The new bridge will eliminate tight curves on the existing span and create improved, direct connections to the FDR Drive in Manhattan and to the northbound Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx. The design includes wider travel lanes with shoulders, and a wider pedestrian and bicycle pathway along the north side of the bridge. The new bridge, which is expected to open to traffic later this fall, will have solid riding surface instead of the existing open grating deck. Constructed in 1901, the Willis Avenue Bridge carries more than 70,000 vehicles a day and is part of the route of the New York City Marathon.