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More of the Great Race soon . . . but a bit of back story.

When I moved to our fair metropolis in 2000 and started paying attention, I was taken by the Bayonne Bridge, so enamored in fact that I choose it as the header image for this blog in 2006, and now out of stubbornness– or something– have kept the old view.

I renewed my focus on the Bridge in 2011, “turning” became the key word in the titles.  Click here to see posts I did for its 80th, 84th, and 86th anniversary of initial construction, and here I marked the 80 mark again twice.   Over 10 years ago I alluded to the raising for the first time here.

Here’s a single post that looks at the change from 2011 until 2017.

For a baseline, let’s use sunrise April 24, 2008, looking from the west, those two boats are Justine McAllister and Huron Service, now Genesis Victory.

And from the east, December 2011, and that boat was Barents Sea, currently known as Atlantic Enterprise.   As to the bridge, note the box-grid work (not a technical term) on the Bayonne side of the arch.

From Richmond Terrace (Staten Island) perspective, here’s the bridge in February 2012.

By September 13, the box grid was covered, possibly to allow sand blasting.

By January 2014, the cover was off the box grid.  Yes, that’s Specialist.

By October 2015, the box grid was being extended upward, as

the vertical supports were being erected farther into Bayonne.

Here’s a December 15 view, showing the symmetry of the construction.

Here’s March 2016, and you can begin to see the location of the raised roadbed.

Here’s a view from May 2016 from the west side of the Bayonne shore.

By August 2016, the new span has been completely defined.

Here’s a closer up, showing the old level–still poet traffic–and the new level, along with the device used to place pre-cast portions of the new road bed.   The tug is Taft Beach.

Here, as seen from the west side, is most of the bridge in September 2016.  Note the gap still remaining on the Staten Island side.

By March 23,  2017, the upper deck was open to wheeled traffic, and the lower deck was ready to be dismantled.

Here’s a closer-up of that opening.

By April 2, a gap existed, and

by April 11, 2017, ships that might have scrapped  year before were shooting through the opening that grew wider by the week.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who will continue this progression soon.

I didn’t want to overload yesterday’s post, so I’m continuing it here.

08:44

To add a detail here, each time a ship or boat big or small approached, someone up there sounded an aerosol can horn;  once the vessel passed, a second “all clear” blast was made.

And whereas larger vessels stayed the middle of the channel, smaller ones like Jessica Ann prudently avoided the center of the channel above which the bridge work was happening.

08:45

 

08:46

08:59

Just a bit more info on the ship . . . she’s not that large (997′ x 131′) although I don’t know her air draft.  She’s not new . . .

launched in 2003 as Maersk Kolkata. as you can see from the remnant seven-pointed star. 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

The 1931 bridge has been so prominent on this blog over the past decade plus that the past few years of construction and now deconstruction mesmerize me.  Just look at the header photo I’ve not changed since 2006.  I’ll never change it now.

I spent a few hours watching the work yesterday and share some of the photos here today and tomorrow.  Photo 1 was taken at 06:49 before work began, from what I could tell;  I’m the observer only and speculate sometimes because I’m not privy to the communications.  NY is to the left and NJ to the right.

06:54 … NJ side.  A safety and planning meeting?

07:01.  Workers use various means to venture out to the severed transverse beam (?) to begin its removal.

07:30.  Similar activity starts on the NY side.

07:52

08:25.  Almost imperceptibly slow, the movement of the transverse progresses.

08:28.  And then it speeds up.

08:36.  A flatbed trailer has backed into place to receive the beam.

08:38.  Meanwhile, over on the NJ side, a similar evolution has begun.

08:39.

Meanwhile, at 08:43, a container vessel is rounding Bergen bend  and headed for sea, after “threading the needle,”  …  well, not really, it made it in with those beams in place . . .

08:43, and we’ll pick up the evolution here tomorrow with MSC Kolkata   . . .  Note the crewmen on the bow?

I’d like to give a hat tip to all the Bayonne Bridge workers who work with such skill and safety in this enormous project, one of at least six bridge projects happening simultaneously in the greater sixth boro.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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