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MTA 2011 Highlights: Atlantic Avenue Viaduct

In 2011, the MTA focused on delivering on some long-promised benefits for our 8.5 million customers. This is the tenth in a daily series that recaps the best of 2011.

In 2011, MTA Long Island Rail Road completed the massive three year, $164 million rehabilitation of the Atlantic Avenue Viaduct, the elevated railway that carries nearly 150,000 customers each week between Jamaica, Queens and Atlantic Terminal, the LIRR's beautiful new rail station in Downtown Brooklyn.

The project came in ahead of schedule and under budget.

Built in 1901, the Atlantic Avenue Viaduct starts its run at Ralph Avenue in Brooklyn and stretches a mile and half to the LIRR Nostrand Avenue Station, supported by 199 individual steel spans and support structure pushed to the end of their useful life by decades of corrosion.

Photo of M72 train

The rehabilitation work began in 2008 and included strengthening and repair of existing column bases; complete replacement of the existing steel superstructure from mid-column upward, utilizing the existing column bases; installation of a new, improved track structure, complete painting of the structure and the installation of new and improved lighting under the viaduct.

Instead of girder-bolted field splices, the design and construction team of Kiewit Constructors and HNTB New York Engineering and Architecture developed an in-span hinge incorporating a disc bearing that allowed for rapid reconstruction. It also provided for adjustability in alignment and elevation down to 1/8 of an inch, which improved final track geometry.

To minimize the impact on train service as well as the busy Brooklyn neighborhoods bordering the Viaduct, much of the work was conducted on weekends. Full rail service was maintained at all times on one track.

Phase I, completed in January 2010 involved replacement of 81 spans between Ralph Avenue and Troy Avenue and six spans between Kingston Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue. Phase IIA involved the rehabilitation of an additional 86 spans. This part of the project was paid for with federal stimulus funds. Part 1 of Phase IIB was completed this past summer with an addition 17 spans.

The rehabilitation of the Viaduct and the construction of the new Atlantic Terminal come as downtown Brooklyn is booming with new offices, new housing, new shopping and a new sports complex that will be the home of the Nets of the National Basketball Association.