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New Benicia-Martinez Bridge

Benicia, California

Market Sector




Services Provided

Construction Phase Services, Design, Seismic Analysis and Design



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Photo Credit: Streano/Havens Photography
Photo Credit: Streano/Havens Photography
Photo Credit: Streano/Havens Photography

T.Y. Lin International’s design of the New Benicia-Martinez Bridge was constructed in 2007 and it provides the communities of Benicia and Martinez with a signature structure that is part of the California Lifeline Route System, a system in which all bridges are to be open to traffic shortly after a seismic event. The five-lane toll bridge is more than 83 feet wide and is aligned east and parallel to the existing six-lane Benicia-Martinez Bridge and UPRR Bridge.

Project Highlights:

  • Design of the first Caltrans segmental bridge in 20 years.
  • Built to lifeline seismic standards.
  • Deep water foundations employing large diameter steel shell caissons to reduce foundation costs.
  • Sand-lightweight concrete for the superstructure to reduce seismic forces. Bridge carries facilities for Bay Area Rapid Transit.

The bridge is 7,400 feet long and has 22 spans, with 12 of those spans over water. This post-tensioned, concrete box girder was primarily constructed by the balanced segmental cast-in-place construction technique, a challenge in and of itself for such long spans (up to 659 feet in length. The segments are 15.8 feet long with a maximum of 19 segments cantilevered from each side of the fixed moment-connection pier.

Significant features of the new bridge include two moment-resisting midspan hinges between the three-span continuous frames, a unique application for a high-seismic zone. These elements provide continuity for post-construction loads (live loading and force redistribution). They also lock the cantilevers laterally and vertically together to minimize not only temperature displacement but also movements from a seismic event.

T.Y. Lin International performed a preliminary design study and prepared cost estimates for the concrete box girder alternative. Subsequently, T.Y. Lin International, as part of a joint venture, was retained by the California Department of Transportation to complete final design and prepare plans and construction estimates for the segmental concrete girder alternative.

Excellence in Structural Engineering, 2008
National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA)
National Recognition Award, 2008
American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
Project of the Year Award, 2008
California Transportation Foundation (CTF)
Honor Award, 2008
Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California (CELSOC)
Globe Award, 2008
American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)
Transportation/Bridges, Best of 2007
California Construction
No. 1 in Top 10 Bridges List, 2006
Roads and Bridges