The Unionport Bridge carries 60,000 vehicles per day on the Bruckner Expressway Service Road over Westchester Creek in the Unionport/Castle Hill/Throgs Neck sections of the Bronx. This bridge, a relatively small but critical traffic connection, serves as not only an important local arterial and bus route, but also provides the only link between the Bruckner Expressway and Cross Bronx Expressway to the Hutchinson River Parkway and points north. The confined and challenging site is surrounded by the elevated Cross Bronx Bruckner Interchange. The main span is a drawbridge that opens for navigation along the commercial waterway to facilitate critical deliveries to a busy fuel oil depot at the head of Westchester Creek. The 65-year-old bridge is in very poor condition due to heavy traffic and its age. Historically, the bridge could not be taken out of service for any major repair due to its critical transportation function and has been forced to remain in continuous service.
As the prime consultant, Hardesty & Hanover lead this locally-administered federal aid project through the study phase, preliminary and final design. NYSDOT/FHWA design approval was obtained in addition to completion of CEQR.
Final design will be complete over the next few months and construction will start in 2017. The new bridge will eliminate structural and operational deficiencies of the existing bridge, provide an additional lane as well as bikeway and sidewalk and the twin bascule spans will simplify future maintenance. It will be constructed without adversely impacting traffic and will provide a 75-year service life.