Route 79 Bridge over Chenango River
What was the challenge?
In 2010, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) initiated a project to replace the existing 398-foot-long two-span steel truss bridge. The bridge had reached the end of its service life and replacement was needed. The existing roadway alignment and bridge had several non-standard features: horizontal curvature, shoulder width, and horizontal sight distance. As the project progressed, several design constraints came to the surface that led the project team to develop alternative crossing locations along the Chenango River.
In total, eight crossing locations were evaluated. In evaluating the alternative crossing locations, the following constraints were considered:
- Safety and the elimination of non-standard highway features
- Avoiding the creation of a new railroad-grade crossing
- Significant cultural resources are present in some areas along the Chenango River and coordination with several tribal nations
- Right-of-way acquisition and potential home relocations
- Maintenance of traffic during construction of the new bridge
After a thorough evaluation of all these constraints, a preferred alternative was selected and the project was granted design approval in 2020. Construction began in 2022 and concluded in the fall of 2023.
How did Barton & Loguidice provide a solution?
Barton & Loguidice was retained for preliminary design and final highway design. In coordination with NYSDOT, B&L performed a detailed assessment of each alternative, including highway and bridge preliminary design, visual impact assessment, eminent domain procedure law (EDPL) hearing, and right-of-way acquisition mapping for several property acquisitions and two relocations. Ultimately, a new crossing location 0.6 miles upstream of the existing bridge was selected as the preferred alternative. The new crossing location provided for the elimination of all non-standard features on the state highway.
Why was the project a success?
B&L’s experience in navigating the environmental challenges and continuity of in-house project management staff over a long period of time helped the project in achieving design approval – a key milestone on a project with so many constraints.
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