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Admiral Clarey Bridge
(Ford Island Bridge)

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Admiral Clarey Bridge (Ford Island Bridge), Pearl Harbor

The Admiral Clarey bridge, which connects Ford Island to the rest of Oahu, is a floating concrete drawbridge or pontoon bridge. The bridge provides access to the historical sites on Ford Island via tour bus, and access for U.S. Military and families to the rest of Oahu, before the bridge was completed travel was completed by ferry boats. The bridge is one of only a few floating bridges in the world and has the largest floatable moving span in the world. The bridge was named for Admiral Bernard A. Clarey who was one of the Navy's most decorated officers.

Initially dubbed “ the bridge to nowhere” the bridge was an integral part of Senator Inouye's “rebirth” of Ford Island. Once completed it provided 45 military families and 3,000 civilian personnel access to Kamehameha Highway. The completion of the bridge also enabled the further development of the island. The island is now home to the NOAA David Inouye Pacific Tsunami warning center at at cost of $331,000,000 and enabled the construction of the $50,000,000 Pacific Aviation Museum. The construction began on 10 January 1996 and was completed in 1998 and opened for traffic on 15 April 1998. The bridge design won multiple awards including the 1999 American Society of Civil Engineers Outstanding Project and Leaders award of Merit and the United States Department of Transportation 2000 Honor Award for design excellence. The bridge was completed at a cost of $78,000,000 and was under budget and ahead of schedule.

The build of the bridge consists of 350-400 24 inch diameter prestressed concrete piles driven into the seabed at angles to support the bridge itself. The majority of the precast girders and deck panels as well as the three concrete pontoons were constructed in Tacoma Washington and shipped to Oahu by barge. The pontoon sections are 310 feet long, 50 feet wide and 17 feet tall and contain 21 water tight cells with leak detectors to provide the buoyancy. The three sections were put together on site using large steel bolts. Since the pontoon bridges are vulnerable to stresses other than the traffic, such as nature waves, winds, and tides, the design of this bridge is able to withstand 100 mph winds and waves as high as 5 feet.



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