• Corporate HQ, NY
  • Melville, NY
  • Iselin, NJ
  • Ossining, NY
  • Mount Laurel, NJ

2010-2013 Gold Star Memorial Bridge Inspection and Evaluation


As part of our 2010-2013 biennial bridge inspection services for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT), HAKS provided special structural services for the Gold Star Memorial Bridge, which carries I-95 over the Thames River between New London and Groton. This deck truss is the longest structure in Connecticut and is close to a US Naval Submarine base and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Our work consisted of gusset plate analysis, design of restraining details for the pin and hanger systems and rocker bearing pins, NDT testing and monitoring and evaluation of the effects of frozen bearings.

Gusset plates connecting deck truss members were inspected hands-on using snoopers and climbing techniques to document section loss and as-built and as-rehabilitated structural details. The information obtained was used to perform structural analyses of over 100 different gusset plate nodes to evaluate their shear, tension, compression and bending capacity in accordance with the then newly established FHWA guidelines. Truss member forces were derived from modeling and analyzing the deck truss superstructure in STAAD.

Existing rocker bearings at several piers were inspected at periodic intervals to monitor and document movement due to seasonal temperature changes. In support of this investigation, HAKS developed a strain gage monitoring program to collect data on truss member and gusset plate stresses induced by temperature changes and vehicular live load. The results from our analysis of the data obtained after an extended period prompted ConnDOT to implement emergency replacement of the affected rocker bearings.

For the gusset plate analysis, the project received the 2011 ACEC New York Platinum Award. For the investigation and monitoring of the bridge, the project received the 2015 ACEC New York Platinum Award and the ACEC Connecticut Engineering Excellence Award.