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The Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge is a 1-1/2-mile cable suspension bridge spanning the Saint Lawrence Seaway that links the north-central border of New York State with Canada. The bridge is a vital international conduit for the transportation of persons and goods and connects much needed economic development projects for the region on either side of the border. Built in 1960, the Ogdensburg Bridge had recently been categorized as a structurally deficient surface transportation asset. Pursuant to New York State’s adopted Transportation Master Plan for 2030 the bridge was targeted for rehabilitation in order to “achieve a state of good repair” and to ensure the bridge’s longterm viability. The Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority partnered with the New York State Department of Transportation to implement the $48 million rehabilitation project. Work included replacement of all main span bridge decking, structural steel floor beams and stringers, raised concrete safety walks, and bridge railing systems across both approach spans and the main suspension spans.
O’Connell is no stranger to large-scale international bridge rehabilitation projects. Our portfolio includes the Thousand Islands Bridge and The Peace Bridge, which is the second busiest boarder crossing between the U.S. and Canada. Under a $3 million contract from the American Bridge Company, O’Connell was tasked with replacement and upgrade of all bridge electrical and communications infrastructure. The new two-conduit raceway system we installed spans the full 7385 foot length of the bridge, one conduit carrying wire and cable for bridge functionality, the other for future international communications. O’Connell installed newly engineered dehumidification systems into sealed vaults, where the bridge stay cables are anchored, as part of the bridge’s comprehensive corrosion protection system. We also installed all new street, bridge, and navigational lighting for the project.
The majority of electrical work and installations needed to be accomplished underneath the bridge’s surface. Demonstrating versatility and adaptability in a challenging construction environment, O’Connell researched, rented, purchased, and modified specialized equipment that enabled our technicians, and other trades, to access work areas from the topside of the bridge. With workmen suspended 100 feet, or more, over water and land during the construction period, job site safety and worker fall protection were an utmost priority. O’Connell demonstrated exceptional safety performance throughout the eighteen-month duration of the project with no reported safety incidents or injuries.
On a project of this magnitude, numerous obstacles and challenges present themselves that could not have been anticipated when bidding the work. O’Connell exhibited both the character and industry leadership qualities we are known for by managing each issue that arose and meeting all project completion schedules.