The Church Street South Extension to the New Haven Interlocking and Rail Yard project consisted of a new eight-span bridge, approximately 1,650 linear feet of reconstructed roadway, modification of two intersections and a new 12′ x 4′ box culvert.
Overall, the bridge is 1,280 feet long and 53 feet wide, providing for two traffic lanes, a median, a sidewalk and two bike lanes/shoulders. Over 1,100 concrete piles were driven to support this new bridge with the main 320 foot truss span being built entirely on the ground and lifted into place with a special 3,000 ton, high capacity crane.
The crane needed to be capable of lifting 1,031 tons of total “pick” weight 60 feet off the ground, rotating the truss 176 degrees over the rail lines, then depositing it on the waiting piers. Since the truss design allowed a mere inch of tolerance, extreme precision was required. Extensive testing was carried out on the crane and rigging to ensure safety and guarantee performance.
On May 4, 2003, the project team successfully lifted and maneuvered the 887 ton truss into place. The entire event took less than 2 hours, well within the 3-hour window dictated by Metro North’s commuter train schedule.