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July 27, 2010

Yesterday, the City floated a new Willis Avenue Bridge up to, well, Willis Avenue.

WNYC reports:

Two barges, fastened together, chugged up the East River Monday morning, hauling the nearly 2,400-ton Willis Avenue Bridge replacement. Setting off at about 6:30 a.m., the 170-foot barge was guided by two tugboats, while a third, red, white and blue tugboat pulled the bulk of the load.

Racing against the tide, the 350-foot long bridge cruised up the river during flood tide at about five knots, hoping to beat the early afternoon ebb tide, when it would be nearly impossible for the heavy load to make it.

The $612 million project will replace the 109-year old Willis Avenue Bridge that currently connects the Major Deegan Expressway in the South Bronx to the FDR Drive in Harlem.

The new bridge, built in Coeymans, New York, was shipped 112 miles down the Hudson River earlier this month and moored in Bayonne, New Jersey until this morning.

The U.S. Coast Guard was on hand to make sure other boats stayed at least 100 yards from the barge. Lieutenant Will George has been patrolling the waters around New York for over a year and was more impressed with the way the 170-foot barge moved sideways up the river than with the bridge itself.

“They usually transit length-wise, so it’d be a longer barge, but the way you see it right now, they’re basically in a perpendicular formation where they’re pushing more water, so, that’s not a usual formation for a barge,” George says.

I will plan a bike ride over the new bridge once it’s been installed and well-tested.

You know, you can’t be too careful…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. jco permalink
    July 27, 2010 10:27 am

    And here I thought the plan was to let the bridges rust and fall into the river. Whew.

  2. July 27, 2010 12:43 pm

    Bridges freak the fuck out of me. I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge once and had about ten anxiety attacks while doing so. I ‘ll never do it again.

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