The initial contract for building the Jamestown-Verrazzano bridge was awarded in December 1984 to Clarke-Fitzpatrick Inc., the lowest of six bidders at $63.9 million. Ground was broken September 26. 1985, and construction began. Estimated time to complete – three years.
A year later, the state discovered a miscalculation in the recommended depth for the concrete support piers. Wrangling ensued about who should pay for what. The contractor walked off the site and sued the state saying the change in specs was outside of the original contract. The state countersued Clarke-Fitzpatrick for contractor negligence.
In March 1988, with the bridge two years behind schedule and about $80 million over budget, both parties agreed to terminate the contract. Traylor Brothers was hired on an interim $8.1-million contract to stabilize the earlier contractor’s work.
A new contract was awarded in August 1989 to Guy Atkinson-Kiewit Joint Venture to complete the bridge for $101.5 million. Construction resumed almost immediately. Time to complete – still three years.
Peter Janaros was the state’s Project Engineer during these three years. The Janaros Bridge Collection in the JHS vault includes his monthly reports to the state on progress on the bridge with 746 photographs showing the steps in the process. The collection also contains over 275 articles and reports about the building of the bridge collected by Jananos’ office. Two photos from the Janaros Collection are shown above.
The Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge opened on October 19, 1992. It is 7,350-foot-long. The span over the main navigation channel measures 636 feet from pier to pier with 135 feet of vertical clearance at mid-span. The final cost was approximately $161 million, more than two and half times the original 1984 estimate.
Click on this link to see all the photographs in the Janaros Collection.