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Construction Watch: July 2024

Something BIG is on its way to Ralph Wilson Park!

It started in 2018 when the community driven design project, Imagine LaSalle, identified that the community’s #1 priority is better, safer access to Ralph Wilson Park. In 2020, a community-based design competition resulted in the selection of schlaich bergman partners (sbp), known for its creative, stylish, sustainable design of long-span bridges and towers throughout the world. Learn more about overall park updates and sign up to receive our construction watch emails here.

Today, our Ralph Wilson Park Bridge is loaded on barges at the Port of Coeyman’s outside of Albany waiting to make its final journey to Ralph Wilson Park down the Erie Canal! This video shows its dramatic arrival to the Port of New York on June 22nd.

The transport of our bridge through the Erie Canal offers an opportunity to reflect on the significance of the Empire State’s contribution to the fledgling nation’s migration westward and marvel at the sheer scale and engineering behind this important project. The four sections weigh in at a massive 220 tons. The transport and placement of this bridge is an engineering marvel.

Check out the pictures of Carver Companies loading the 4 sections of Ralph Wilson Park Bridge onto two barges at Port of Coeyman’s.

In the picture below you’ll see where the barges will dock and the sections of Ralph Wilson Park Bridge will be offloaded. Moving west across the site you can see the final location of the bridge where it is to be placed later this fall.

Crews have hauled in and placed over 9,000 tons of stone constructing a 4’ deep area engineered to receive the four sections of the bridge. The 4 sections of Ralph Wilson Park Bridge will be lifted off the barges by a massive boom crane for assembly.

Beginning next week, 32 trailer loads containing assembly materials (nuts and bolts) will begin to arrive. It will take about 6 weeks for our bridge to be welded together and painted before being transported in one 260’ piece across the park.

The picture below is looking west from 4th street across the I-190 depicting the span between the pedestrian bridge’s two abutments. The plan is to set the bridge on the two abutments in the fall.

Check out a sneak peak of our June 2024 RWP Construction Recap in this video. You’ll see the precast gravix wall on the south abutment being placed which when backfilled will shape the 30’ tall sled hill. Also depicted in the video are crews putting in the sheet pile wall behind the amphitheater and major progress at the inlet!

Follow @RalphWilsonParkBridge on its journey down the Erie Canal beginning July 5th. And, mark your calendar for July 16th (716 day!) to watch the historic arrival of our bridge to the shore of Ralph Wilson Park! And, join us at our first fundraiser aboard Miss Buffalo II on July 16th from 6-8pm for a once-in-a-lifetime view from the water of Ralph Wilson Park Bridge and an up close look at our shoreline transformation! Get your tickets here!