MTA Press Releases

Press Release
July 1, 2008
Anchorage Work Is Critical Component of Triborough Bridge Major Rehab Project

The Triborough Bridge’s twin anchorages—massive concrete structures in which the East River suspension span’s two 3,104-feet-long cables are embedded—are currently undergoing a treatment that will preserve their critical, if mostly hidden, role for many years to come. 

Specifically, the $20 million project involves “dehumidification” of the anchorage space and re-anchoring of the 37 cable “strands,” which are composed of 248 wires per strand. There are nearly 9,200 wires that make up a single cable (each cable measures about 20 inches in diameter).  The dehumidification system will keep the cables in the anchorage dry and in optimal condition.

The concrete used in the pyramid-like anchorages totals 133,500 cubic yards, more than enough to pave a 28.4-mile three-lane highway.  The rehabilitation work associated with the anchorage space also entails cleaning and spreading selected cable strands for engineer inspection; building enclosures for better protection of the cable strands; replacing the sidewalks and catwalks at the anchorage; and patching chipped or “spalled” areas and reconstructing deteriorated sections.

“Nearly every area of this exceptional 71-year-old bridge is getting a state-of-the-art make-over,” explained Rocco D’ Angelo, Deputy Chief Engineer and Director at the Triborough Bridge, which links Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx at the juncture of Randall’s Island.  “The work behind the scenes—for example, this anchorage maintenance—is as important as the work in plain sight, such as deck reconstruction or tower painting.”

The contract for this work was awarded to Tully Construction Co., Inc. and the project will be completed in fall of 2009.

The two cables support the 1,380-foot main East River suspension span over the strong currents of the Hell Gate, which runs between Astoria, Queens and Wards/Randall’s Island.  Originally two separate islands, the narrow space between Wards and Randall’s was filled in to create one island in the 1960s.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels’ facilities, which connect the five boroughs of New York City, are the Triborough, Throgs Neck, Bronx-Whitestone, Henry Hudson, Verrazano-Narrows, Cross Bay Veterans Memorial and Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Bridges, and the Queens Midtown and Brooklyn-Battery Tunnels.

Photo caption: The Triborough Bridge’s East River Suspended Span.

The Triborough Bridge's East River Suspended Span.