Constructed in 1915 as part of the Hell Gate Bridge, the concrete span over 31st Street suffered from water leaks and falling concrete.
Carrying both passenger and freight rail traffic, the arch measures 98-feet-wide at the bottom, rises 75-feet-high and is 72-feet-deep. It is large enough that one of Astoria’s main thoroughfares, 31st Street, passes through the span on grade, with sufficient clearance for New York City Transit’s N and W elevated train lines to ride above 31st Street and still pass through the Amtrak viaduct.
Amtrak needed to provide access to the vaulted underside of the arch and both faces of the arch structure for repairs while providing pedestrian and vehicular protection below. York Scaffold Equipment Corp. erected sidewalk shed protection on the sidewalk and street on grade, and sidewalk shed protection on the elevated train passenger platform to provide the pedestrian and vehicular protection. The scaffold to provide worker access was erected from these sidewalk sheds to the top of the viaduct in such a way as to allow the two tracks of the elevated train line to continue in regular operation.