SCARSDALE, NY—On a bitterly cold January morning, Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino joined other county and local officials as well as executives with the contractor that performed the job, E.E. Cruz and Co. Inc., and others to celebrate the completion of the complex Crane Road Bridge construction replacement here.
At a total cost of $53 million, the venture was the largest bridge construction project ever undertaken by Westchester County. The project came in on time and on budget, county officials reported. At the event, county officials revealed that in coming weeks, work would begin on another long-awaited and sorely needed job—the Ashford Avenue bridge project in Dobbs Ferry and Ardsley.
“The good news today is that we now have a modern and safe bridge in place that will make it easier to get around Westchester and hopefully take some of the stress out of the busy lives of the people who use the Bronx River Parkway,” County Executive Astorino said. “Despite all the moving parts and competing interests, the team has for all practical purposes brought the project in on time and on budget.”
Mr. Astorino congratulated the general contractor, E.E. Cruz and Co. Inc., of New York City, the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc., the project’s construction workers, and the various unions for completing Crane Road Bridge on time and on budget. He also thanked the residents and merchants of Scarsdale as well as Bronx River Parkway motorists for their patience, noting that E.E. Cruz and the county worked to keep disruptions at a minimum.
County officials related that the project was $500,000 under budget, with enough left over to cover a few outstanding invoices. All four lanes of the parkway opened to motorists on Sept. 4, 2015, with all work completed on Dec. 20, 2016.
Mr. Astorino added, “In a perfect world, we would have finished a little sooner, but despite some tough weather we saw during three years of construction, this project was completed in the shortest possible amount of time.”
Joseph Malandro, president and COO of E.E. Cruz and Co. Inc., said the uniqueness of the bridge’s “mushroom caps” structure motivated the company to bid on the project because “it was an engineering challenge to build it.”
The Crane Avenue Bridge project was the first project E.E. Cruz bid on and won in Westchester County, Mr. Malandro said. He later would note that he secured a second Westchester County bridge job in lower Westchester.
“It’s a pleasure for us to complete this project,” Mr. Malandro said. “This was the first Westchester County project that we bid successfully and completed successfully, and we will be bidding on Westchester County projects in the future.”
Ross Pepe, president of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc., credited the prehire pact with local labor, known as a Project Labor Agreement, for the success of construction on the Crane Road Bridge.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the construction industry when the County of Westchester and County Executive Astorino move forward with projects that improve the community and create safe roadways,” Mr. Pepe said. “This project, which employed dozens of workers from the local area, had a specialized Project Labor Agreement in place to ensure continuity for the workforce and contractors so the project could flow correctly and be completed on time and on budget.”
Mr. Astorino told attendees of the press event that the county has spent more than $1 billion on capital projects in the past five years, which he said created 1,000 construction jobs. He added the county’s 2016 budget includes another approximately $1 billion earmarked for capital projects.
The Bronx River Parkway’s Crane Road Bridge is made up of two bridges, one over the Bronx River, commonly referred to as the “mushroom bridge,” and the other over the MTA Metro-North Railroad track north of the Scarsdale Station. These bridges share a common middle abutment. The original Crane Road Bridge was a major contributing element to the designation of the Bronx River Parkway Reservation on the National Register of Historic Places. Construction of the new bridge followed policies of the U.S. Department of the Interior for historic bridges, according to county officials.
Among the highlights of the Crane Road Bridge project included improvements that expanded the span to four lanes from 9.5 feet in width to 11 feet; the addition of a four-foot right shoulder and a 2.5-foot left shoulder; the addition of a 260-foot long deceleration lane for exiting traffic at Exit 12 northbound; improvements to the curves that increase stopping sight distance and allow the advisory speed to increase from 20 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour; an additional sidewalk to the south side of the bridge; and a new pedestrian ramp to access the southbound Metro-North Station platform and the Bronx River Parkway Reservation pathway.
The project costs broke down as follows: design—$6.5 million; right of way acquisition–$1 million; construction inspection—$4.6 million; railroad force account—$2 million; and construction—$39 million.
In connection with the Ashford Avenue bridge, county officials said the $17.9-million contract was recently awarded to E.E. Cruz & Co. Inc. Issues began in the span when concrete fell from the bridge onto the New York State Thruway below in June 2012. At the time County Executive Astorino ordered additional inspections of the bridge, initiated a $1.5-million capital project amendment to address the bridge’s immediate needs and organized an effort to expedite, if possible, the projected $24-million long-term capital project for the bridge’s rehabilitation.
E.E. Cruz’s Molandro said that work on the project would likely begin in February. It is scheduled for completion in September 2018. That project will also be performed under a Project Labor Agreement with the Building & Construction Trades Council of Westchester & Putnam Counties, Inc.
The bridge was built in 1950 and currently carries 20,170 vehicles per day (2012 volumes).