Unistress ramps up for $70M, New NY Bridge precast deck contract

Preliminary New NY Bridge contract work has seen Unistress crews run steam lines with actuator valves and power to deck panel casting beds, secure collapsible tent enclosures, and test specimens.

Unistress Corp. in Pittsfield, Mass., is investing $6 million in capacity upgrades and adding 100-plus production staff to support the largest contract in its 46-year history: 6,000 precast deck panels, typically 40- x 12-ft., for the New NY Bridge. Upon a scheduled 2018 opening, the 3.1-mile, $3.9-billion Hudson River crossing will replace the Tappan Zee Bridge, linking Westchester and Rockland, N.Y., counties and nearing its 60th year in service.

Company officials told Pittsfield’s Berkshire Eagle of the $70 million contract and plant ramp up, noting that Tappan Zee Constructors JV representatives selected the precast deck panel fabricator not on low bid but “the quality of our product and our expertise.” Unistress joins a pool of producers has enlisted thus far: Eastern Concrete Materials, which is delivering ready mixed for land-based pours from New Jersey or New York plants, plus Virginia’s Bayshore Concrete Products and Coastal Precast, each fabricating major structural components—some 100 tons and up—at their Chesapeake Bay operations. A joint venture of American Bridge Co., Fluor Enterprises, Granite Construction Northeast, and Traylor Bros., Tappan Zee Constructors also plans extensive concrete production and placement from a barge-mounted plant deployed in July.