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Metro North Railroad Bridge over Atlantic Street

By February 6, 2024March 6th, 2024No Comments
Metro North Railroad CTDOT


Stamford’s Bridge to the Future: R.J. Watson’s Pivotal Role 

In the summer of 2017, the Connecticut Department of Transportation embarked on a transformative infrastructure project in Stamford, CT, with the aim of modernizing the Atlantic Street underpass and the Metro North Railroad bridge. This $74.8M design-bid-build project was awarded to Halmar Construction, with AECOM as the design engineer. Central to this endeavor was the replacement of the bridge, constructed in 1896, to facilitate improved access and safety for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic near the Stamford Transportation Center, a vital hub connecting the Stamford Central Business District (CBD) with areas south of the rail corridor. 


R.J. Watson, Inc was a key partner in this, renowned for our engineering excellence and innovative solutions in bridge bearings and expansion joints. R.J. Watson was selected to supply 72 high-load, multi-rotational disc bearings critical for the new 6-track, 2-span bridge’s structural integrity. These bearings were designed to support a vertical service load of 609 kips, with a horizontal load capability of 10% of the vertical load, and a service rotation designed for 0.015 radians. Our involvement underscored the project’s commitment to leveraging high-quality, durable products to enhance infrastructure resilience and longevity. 


The Atlantic Street project not only aimed to replace the aging bridge but also to reconfigure the roadway beneath it, significantly improving the area’s horizontal and vertical geometry. This included increasing the roadway capacity by providing additional travel lanes, improving pedestrian circulation near the Transportation Center, and accommodating future transportation needs with provisions for an additional railroad track and platform. 


R.J. Watson’s contribution was instrumental in the project’s success, facilitating the use of accelerated bridge construction methods to minimize traffic disruption during construction. The project, which started in spring 2018 and concluded in 2020, was a testament to the importance of collaboration between state departments, construction firms, design engineers, and specialized suppliers like R.J. Watson, Inc. Together, they not only addressed the immediate structural and functional obsolescence of the existing bridge and underpass but also enhanced the overall connectivity and safety for Stamford’s residents and the many commuters who rely on the transportation infrastructure daily. Through this project, R.J. Watson, Inc. further solidified its reputation as a leader in providing innovative solutions that meet the complex demands of modern infrastructure projects.