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Complex Parkway Ramp Takes High Honors from ACEC New Jersey

Jul 19, 2021

As part of the larger Restoring the George improvement program, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey initiated the $80 million replacement of the Palisades Interstate Parkway (PIP) Helix ramp. This vital link consists of three separate bridges that carry about 7 million motorists a year onto the upper level of the George Washington Bridge (GWB), the busiest bridge in the U.S.  STV prepared final designs for this highly complex highway/bridge replacement program, which won the Grand Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies New Jersey Chapter (ACECNJ) as part of its 2021 Engineering Excellence Awards – the event’s highest honor.

STV’s George Tawfik, P.E., was the project manager for this initiative.

Several innovative design solutions were developed to minimize adverse impacts to motorists and the surrounding community within one of the most congested and densely populated areas of the Northeast. Due to the high volume of daily vehicular traffic crossing the GWB, and its critical role in the region’s economy, maintaining traffic operations while the Helix was being replaced was critical to the success of this project.

The structure was designed to be constructed with minimal disturbance to the public facilities and major highways that run under the Helix, such as I-95 and Route 9. A maintenance and protection of traffic plan was developed to move traffic onto a temporary ramp structure, and then eventually back onto the new Helix. When several unforeseen underground utilities were found early in the construction phase, elements of the ramp were redesigned to avoid any disruptions.

STV’s services included structural engineering for three new bridges and all associated roadways and profiles, foundations, drainage and stormwater management systems, and demolition. Additionally, the team performed electrical and mechanical engineering services for appurtenant systems such as fire protection and standpipes.

“We’re honored to be recognized by ACECNJ with this award and we’re proud of our role supporting this highly complex and innovative project,” Tawfik said. “The design and construction of the PIP Helix was a massive undertaking that will benefit the region for generations to come. Projects like this one exemplify how STV strives to serve the client and better improve our communities.”