The Largest Transportation Design-Build Project in the Nation

Featured in HISTORY’s ‘Project Impossible’ series   Watch trailer

High Steel Structures LLC, a Key Contributor to the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

At a Glance:

  • High Steel was one of only a few U.S. companies able to meet this project’s enormous demand for fabricated steel
  • High Steel constructed nearly 800 girders, most weighing more than 100,000 pounds and 12 feet in depth
  • High Steel and High Transit met all contract commitments, with no major delays or problems
  • Designed and constructed to last 100 years without major structural maintenance


*Photo courtesy of New York Thruway Authority

“This is the largest contract that any High company ever executed. It puts us in a special place: We can do things that not everybody can.”  - Jeff Sterner, President and COO of High Industries Inc.

The Mario M. Cuomo Bridge Replaces the Tappan Zee Bridge

The Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, at 3.1 miles long, is a twin-span, cable-stayed replacement for the old Tappan Zee Bridge, crossing the Hudson River about 25 miles north of New York City. When complete, its eight lanes will carry the New York State Thruway, Interstate 87, and Interstate 287. It will have bus lanes during rush hour, a design that allows for future light rail or commuter rail service, and a shared-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

The 50,000 tons of structural steel that High Steel Structures LLC fabricated will support the road deck and infrastructure for the east and west approach spans of the new bridge.

Headquartered in Lancaster, PA, High Steel partnered with Hirschfeld Industries, with headquarters in San Angelo, TX, to deliver the 100,000 tons of steel required.

Innovating to Meet a Massive Project’s Goals: Success Factors

Given its huge size, scope, and cost, the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge project had to bring together the most capable and dependable large-capacity companies in the bridge construction industry.

High Steel’s Innovative success factors included:

  • Retooling up front to fabricate the outsized bridge-span components
  • Developing purpose-designed production methods that increased efficiency and helped maintain schedules
  • Recoding in-house software so it met the outsized-girder specifications
  • Employing a rapid digital radiography method that X-rays steel thickness (for quality control) in 12 seconds instead of up to an hour
  • Using advanced-technology equipment—exclusive to High Steel in the U.S.—that drills bolt holes in steel parts at the top and sides simultaneously (the company drilled more than 1,400,000 bolt holes for the new bridge)

Why High?

High Steel easily met this project’s requirements as one of the largest fabricators of structural steel in the U.S., delivering more than a million tons over the past 20 years.


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High completed an $11 million expansion of our Williamsport facility and added about 200 positions to support this historic project.

“For us, success equals opportunities for improvement.”  - Ronnie Medlock, Vice President of Technical Services at High Steel

High has maintained an environment of innovation since its founding in 1931

High Steel’s 500+ co-workers fabricate a wide range of complex bridge components and steel superstructures. The company also offers bridge erection, transportation, and emergency repair services.

At High, we are fortunate to work with a team of talented and engaged coworkers, as well as the very best customers, business partners, and community leaders throughout our many locations in the eastern and Midwestern United States.

While our headquarters and our organizational roots are planted firmly in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania—a vibrant and distinctively hardworking community that strongly influences who we are as a company—the values we espouse, including honest hard work, trustworthy relationship-building, and innovative leadership, are shared by all co-workers throughout our businesses.


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