Tomlinson Lift Span Bridge

New Haven, CT

Enthusiastic partnering between Cianbro, the Connecticut DOT, Hardesty & Hanover, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and the entire Tomlinson team created innovative ideas to successfully meet the demands of this challenging project.

Scope of Work

Cianbro constructed and erected a 930 feet long by 90 feet wide lift span bridge over the Quinnipiac River inlet at New Haven Harbor—the largest lift span bridge on the East Coast and second heaviest in the USA.

Project Details

  • Cianbro managed the substructure completion:
    • Installed 5,190 linear feet of 30-inch diameter caissons anchored 15 feet into bedrock and 40 feet below sea level with 2,400 linear feet of 24-inch diameter rock sockets
    • Drove 22,100 linear feet of timber pile
    • Constructed concrete piers and abutments
  • Cianbro managed and self-performed:
    • Constructed 2 ea. 1,250 ton, 150 feet high bridge support towers
    • Constructed a 3,000 ton, 270 foot long by 92 foot wide by 40 foot high lift span—with four vehicular lanes, a pedestrian sidewalk, and a railway line—on a barge which was floated into position for erection
    • Erected approximately 8,000 tons of steel
    • Installed 575 tons of steel rebar
    • Placed over 10,000 cubic yards of concrete
    • Installed 4 ea. 100 HP motors to power the mechanical lift section
    • Installed 8 ea. 20 feet diameter, 90 ton sheaves with a 60:1 gear ratio
    • Fabricated 150 tons of stairs and platforms
    • Installed stainless steel cladding on the bridge towers
    • Disposed of more than 30,000 tons of contaminated soil

Lean, Innovative, and Unique Project Solutions

Cianbro erected the 3,000-ton lift span on a 220 foot by 140 foot assembly barge—built from 76 individual pontoon barge sections and completed the float-in phase of the lift span erection during a five-day channel shutdown.


2005 ABC Connecticut Best Project of the 2000 Decade Award
2005 ABC Connecticut Excellence in Construction Award
2004 AGC Build Connecticut Award (Honorable Mention)