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George Street Bridge

The reconstruction of New Jersey Route 18 renewed a community and reshaped the landscape.
  • George Street Bridge aerial view, New Brunswick, New Jersey-Gannett Fleming

    The George Street Bridge features eight precast concrete arches.

  • George Street Bridge arches, New Brunswick, New Jersey-Gannett Fleming

    The George Street Bridge is the centerpiece of the Route 18 reconstruction project.

  • George Street Bridge traffic, New Brunswick, New Jersey-Gannett Fleming

    At nearly 600 feet, the George Street Bridge is one the largest precast concrete arch bridges in North America.

  • George Street Bridge arches and park, New Brunswick, New Jersey-Gannett Fleming

    The George Street Bridge is the first to combine precast concrete arches with a lightweight cellular concrete overfill.

Client
New Jersey Department of Transportation
Partner(s)
AmerCom Consulting Engineers, Stantec Consulting, M. A. Culbertson, MBI Gluckshaw, Vollmer Associates
Location
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Our Role
Highway, Bridge, Engineering.
Data
Size:
593 feet
Construction Cost:
$11.6 million
Completed:
2010
Type:
New Construction
Duration:
4 years
Outcomes
  • Improved multimodal services and access to local businesses and communities
  • One of the largest precast concrete arch bridges in North America
  • World’s first bridge to combine precast concrete arches with a lightweight cellular concrete overfill.

The George Street Bridge over Route 18 and Boyd Park, considered the centerpiece of the $215 million reconstruction of the New Jersey Route 18 project, is an innovative structure that elevated industry standards. Once completed, the bridge became one of the largest structures of its kind in North America. Designed as a precast concrete barrel arch bridge measuring 593 feet in length and 60.7 feet in width, it features eight arch barrels, each with a span of 66 feet and a rise of 20 feet.

An innovative structure, the bridge’s construction broke new ground in the use of precast concrete, becoming the first bridge in the world to combine precast concrete arches with a lightweight cellular concrete overfill. The George Street Bridge was one of several bridges developed as part of the Route 18 reconstruction project. The multi-interchange project improved safety and operations for regional travel and provided much needed multimodal service improvements and local access to downtown New Brunswick, Rutgers University, the Raritan River waterfront, Boyd Park, and various neighborhoods adjacent to the corridor.

What We Did

Serving as the lead designer and engineer-of-record on this project, Gannett Fleming initiated a Context Sensitive Design approach to define a collaborative design solution that met transportation needs, environmental obligations, and community values. Through a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a community involvement action plan was developed that centered on the formation of a Community Partnering Team (CPT).

The CPT was a unique mechanism that obtained broad-based public participation and provided information to stakeholders and community representatives. Concepts developed through the CPT led to the design and construction of the George Street Bridge, ensuring it blended with the surrounding structures and character of the corridor and the city. Not only did the bridge break new ground on the use of precast concrete, but it complements the historical charm of the city of New Brunswick.

Key Features

  • Aesthetic treatments approved by community committee
  • Design elements shaped by continuous stockholder input
  • Design increased usable land area for the city park extension
  • One of the largest precast concrete barrel arch bridges in North America
  • Part of an overall project to improve safety and operations for regional travel
  • Use of multicolumn piers allowed for an access drive under the arches.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • Bridge design reconnected Boyd Park to the city of New Brunswick
  • Met NJDOT’s Complete Streets initiative for non-motorized travel
  • Pedestrian safety improved along the entire 5-mile corridor.

Awards & Recognition

  • Eugene C. Figg Jr. Medal for Signature Bridges, 2010, International Bridge Conference, Annual Eugene C. Figg Jr. Medal
  • Grand Honor Award, 2011, American Council of Engineering Companies New Jersey, Engineering Excellence Awards
  • Honor Award, 2011, American Council of Engineering Companies, Engineering Excellence Awards
  • No. 6 Bridge Project, 2010, Roads & Bridges, Top 10 Bridges
  • Project of the Year, 2010, American Society of Civil Engineers New Jersey Section, Annual Civil Engineering Awards.

Similar Projects: Transportation: Bridges, Engineering, Transportation: Highways, Transportation: Operations, ITS & Traffic, Operations, ITS & Traffic: Traffic & Safety Engineering, Transportation, Engineering: Transportation