Goethals Bridge Replacement Project

ELizabeth, NJ

Project Highlights / Scope of Work:

  • Modernization of a critical bridge, connecting Staten Island, New York and Elizabeth, New Jersey
  • Installation of electrical power distribution and power backup for east and westbound sides of the bridge up to mid-river
  • Installation of roadway lighting, aesthetic bridge lighting, tower lighting, aviation and navigation lighting, approach ramp roadway lighting and lightning protection
  • Installation of "smart bridge" technology including  an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)  with a new fiber optic network and sub-systems such as SCADA, CCTV, dynamic message system (DMS), weigh-in-motion (WIM) and roadway weather information systems (RWIS)
  • Enhanced safety measures including continuous electronic monitoring capable of spotting potentially serious problems before they might be apparent to a human inspector as well as help determine how the bridge will withstand heavy traffic, severe weather conditions and other potentially hazardous situations 

Project Description:

Since May of 2014 the Goethals Bridge has been undergoing construction. A massive undertaking that has modernized this critical connection between the New York / New Jersey metropolitan area infrastructure. 

Named after Major General George W. Goethals, builder of the Panama Canal and the first consulting engineer of the Port Authority of NY & NJ, the bridge was the agency’s first bi-state development project.  Opened in 1928, the span was originally built to accommodate the sizable increase in the amount of interstate auto traffic following World War I. 

Linking Elizabeth, NJ and Staten Island, NY, the existing four 10 ft. wide lanes (inadequate for the size of the typical twenty-first century truck) have been expanded to six, 12 ft. wide lanes and shoulders, allowing for a better handle of larger vehicles and the high volume of traffic.

Beach Electric Co. was been contracted by the joint venture Kiewit – Weeks – Massman to install electrical power distribution and power backup for both the East and West bound sides of the bridge up to mid river. The nearly $10 million project included roadway lighting, aesthetic bridge lighting, tower lighting, aviation and navigation lighting, approach ramp roadway lighting and lightning protection. In total, the electrical portion of the job has taken over two years to complete.

The new bridge is equipped with a full array of “smart bridge” technology.  Beach Electric Co. installed an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) including a new fiber optic network and sub-systems such as SCADA, CCTV, dynamic message system (DMS), weigh-in-motion (WIM) and roadway weather information systems (RWIS).  The technology is capable of collecting environmental data such as wind speed, visibility and pavement temperature, that is relayed to motorists as they traverse the structure.  The new Traffic Detection System uses sensors to alert the public to traffic incidents.

Numerous enhanced safety measures include continuous electronic monitoring of the structure through a network of sensors placed at critical points. The sensors can spot potentially serious problems before they might be apparent to a human inspector as well as help determine how the bridge will withstand heavy traffic, severe weather conditions and other potentially hazardous situations.  The advancements are staggering!

Beach Electric Co. is proud to be a part of this historic project.  The replacement of a functionally obsolete bridge with a structure that includes state-of-the-art smart bridge technology will benefit the public for decades to come.