Emergency Bridge Repairs – Route 3 Over Hackensack River 

JMT inspected and designed emergency repairs to a high-volume bridge near New York City.


Somerset County, NJ


New Jersey Department of Transportation

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) engaged JMT to inspect and design an emergency repair for fatigue cracks that developed in the bottom chord of the Route 3 Bridge over the Hackensack River, between East Rutherford and Secaucus. The bridge connects the New Jersey Turnpike with the Lincoln Tunnel and midtown Manhattan, supporting 150,000 vehicles per day.

X-ray testing indicated that a fabrication error had occurred during the original construction, leading to the initiation and propagation of the fatigue cracks. The inspection and testing also indicated additional cracks emanating from the fabrication defects and that the lower chord box beam was out of square, which needed to be considered as part of the repair solution. Lane restriction was immediately initiated to reduce live load on the bridge until repairs could be done.

JMT designed repairs to provide an alternate load path in the event of continued propagation of the cracks. Repair plates were designed to provide full live and dead load capacity in the event that the cracks propagated through the entire member.

Intense coordination between NJDOT, JMT, and the contractor was required throughout the design and construction of this emergency repair. The repairs were implemented during a 24-hour closure of Route 3 in adverse winter conditions. On-site design consultation was provided by JMT during the repair.