We are one step closer to seeing rehabilitation construction move forward on the Peace Bridge. The Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (PBA) has chosen the American Bridge Company (ABC) to tackle the $80.5 million Peace Bridge Rehabilitation Project. This assignment is part of an even greater $186 million “fully self-financed, five-year capital plan approved by the PBA Board.”
Not only was ABC the first in the phone book, they were also the lowest bidder for the project. They also had the most experience when it came to deck replacement, complex bridges, and financial strength. Lastly, the bridge company submitted the lowest number of days projected with less than three lanes operational during construction.
“The Rehabilitation Project is a key part of the Peace Bridge Authority’s continuous effort to make passage between Western New York and Southern Ontario as efficient as possible,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “The selection of a contractor for the latest Peace Bridge improvements is an important step for ensuring a maximum flow of goods and traffic at the critical bi-national corridor border crossing.”
Experience was a big factor in this decision. ABC has a substantial development track record with national and binational spans, including:
- Angus Macdonald Bridge Deck Replacement – Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
- George Washington Bridge – New York, USA
- Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge – New York, USA; Ontario, Canada
- Seaway International Bridge – Ontario, Canada
- South Grand Island Bridges – New York, USA
- Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing Project – New York, USA
- Walt Whitman Bridge – Philadelphia, USA
“The Rehabilitation Project will be a coordinated effort between both sides of the border to ensure completion with minimal impacts on motorists, tourists, bus passengers and commercial carriers,” said the Honorable Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport. ” I am pleased to see this project moving forward on a bridge that is so important to the economies of both countries.”
According to the PBA, the chosen team will be able to provide efficiencies of cost, purchasing power and cross-disciplinary synergies. Some of the building challenges ahead include:
- Complete replacement of the structural slab widening of the structure
- Addition of a pedestrian walkway/bikeway
- Observation platform structural steel replacement
- Rehabilitation and strengthening
- Installation of electrical and fiber infrastructure
- Installation of new architectural traffic control gantries, railings, and light posts
“Having worked on the Grand Island bridges, this contractor knows Western New York’s labor and materials markets, as well as our region’s environmental conditions,” said Sam Hoyt Chairman of the Peace Bridge Authority Board of Directors. “American Bridge Company is also a primary contractor on the new Tappen Zee Bridge and is well prepared to undertake the Rehabilitation Project, a project that will significantly contribute to our overall capital campaign objectives and the improvement of our span.”
ABC will be responsible for 100% of the construction management, which will take place in four stages.
“Work is scheduled to begin this month. However there will be no lane closures during the peak summer travel season”, said Ron Rienas General Manager of the PBA. “The earliest a lane closure will occur is in mid October.”
The project is anticipated to get underway in June of 2016 and wrap up by 2019.
As for news on the Peace Bridge plaza, Rienas adds, “There are no plans as of yet. We are looking at beginning the process of making some minor traffic circulation changes to the existing plaza but these are contingent on the State of New York completing its Gateway project, scheduled to be done by spring 2017. There are no plans to expand the plaza as that decision is contingent on Canada and the United States reaching agreement on pre-clearance in Canada.”