Learning in Retirement about the New NY Bridge

Marion Shiffer was describing the New NY Bridge Outreach Team’s recent presentation to LIRIC (Learning in Retirement at Iona College).

“Brian was very professional and fascinating, very well organized,” Shiffer said. It’s the first time she learned how the new bridge would be built, “one direction at a time, while maintaining the old bridge until the lanes are open.”

Learning about the double spans that will each have four wider, and safer, traffic lanes/New NY Bridge Outreach

Learning about the double spans that will each have four wider, and safer, traffic lanes/New NY Bridge Outreach

Whether people reach out to project officials through the Community Outreach Centers, the Contact Us page on the New NY Bridge website, or word-of-mouth, special project advisor Brian Conybeare and the Outreach Team welcome opportunities to address groups.

Founded more than 20 years ago by a group of retirees interested in life-long learning, the academic, not-for-profit LIRIC program is sponsored by Iona College and affiliated with the Road Scholar Institute Network (RSIN). “Iona is wonderful to us,” Linda Whetzel said. “We’re a flexible group, where one person will make a suggestion, and then someone else will make it happen.”

Whetzel heads the Curriculum Committee, “a group of volunteers who design our programs and arrange for presenters and speakers,” LIRIC Executive Director Suzanne Page, Ph.D., explained. “These include our own members, faculty from various local colleges (especially Iona), government officials, community leaders, local artists, town historians, health professionals, and many other members of the community.”

“The New NY Bridge is a historic project that interests students of all ages. Our educational outreach efforts include senior citizens learning in retirement all the way down to elementary school classrooms. The goal is to educate and inform everyone about the extraordinary efforts being undertaken to build this new bridge that will last for generations to come.”— Brian Conybeare, Special Project Advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo

Courtesy New York State Thruway Authority

Courtesy New York State Thruway Authority

Shiffer said bicyclists like her son will appreciate the shared use path. “Brian spoke at his group in Mt. Vernon, and he was very interested in it. Not many bridges have (paths like) that.”

Like Shiffer, Whetzel is amazed that the new bridge will be built next to the existing bridge. “It’s mind-blowing,” she said. “I’m fascinated by trivia, so that capability for rail service is also amazing.”

What remained in her mind is that the project is on time, on budget and will last 100 years. “Those are three things Brian emphasized,” Whetzel said. And of course people asked him the cost of future tolls.

Self-supporting, LIRIC members pay $175 for a full year of classes (September through August) or $100 for six months (March through August). There are no fall-only memberships. The group meets once a week during summers, and its eight-week fall and spring sessions feature three days off-campus, and two days on-campus.

An efficient, multi-route bus rapid transit system is planned to coincide with opening day/New NY Bridge Outreach

An efficient, multi-route bus rapid transit system is planned to coincide with opening day/New NY Bridge Outreach

“(We’re) always on the lookout for informative, timely, interesting presenters,” Shiffer, past president, said. Courses include current events and academic subjects, and occasionally topics of interest to retirees. See listing is in the online catalog.

All are invited to LIRIC’s Open House on Sunday, Sept. 7, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., in Spellman Hall. For information and a catalog, leave a message at 914-633-2675 or email spage@iona.edu.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Thruway Entrance at Route 119 Closed on July 28 and 29 after 8 p.m.; See Detour Routes and Maps

Note: The photo above is not Route 119 in Tarrytown and is indicated for signage only.

Note: The photo above is not Route 119 in Tarrytown and is indicated for signage only.

Per a July 25 press release from project officials:

“Nighttime electrical work on the Tarrytown approach to the Tappan Zee Bridge will continue the week of July 28. The Thruway will remain open to traffic as the nighttime operations continue, however traffic entering the northbound/westbound Thruway at Exit 9 will be impacted during some of the work. Traffic exiting the Thruway at Exit 9 will not be affected.”

There will be no access to I-87/I-287 north/west today and tomorrow from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. One detour is approximately 1.5 miles east on Route 119/White Plains Road to Exit 8A in Elmsford per map below.

detour map

My suggestion if you’re already in Tarrytown or Sleepy Hollow:

Take Benedict Avenue at South Broadway through to Route 119/White Plains Road in Greenburgh. Turn left at the light, and continue to I-87/I-287 north/west (sign is on the left).

Map, markers and route are courtesy of Yahoo! Maps

Map, markers and route are courtesy of Yahoo! Maps

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Personal Reminiscing: Two Months Before the TZB

August 2004: mom and dad on the balcony at Woodstock Playhouse, happy to be with each other, smiling at the sun

August 2004: mom and dad on the balcony at Woodstock Playhouse, happy to be with each other, smiling at the sun

Ten years ago this summer, before dad’s first stroke, he and mom wanted to go to Woodstock. So off we went. I think mom reminded him of what they’d told us kids, that the Tappan Zee Bridge went into the water.

Today is five months.

The call came one minute after 9 a.m. (my digital clock is a few minutes fast). “I have bad news for you,” the voice said, identifying herself as a doctor. Instead of yelling at her for what nana used to call “lack of bedside manner,” I silently cried.

* * * * *

My parents married less than eight weeks before the new bridge opened. Dad passed away 24 hours before the final transit task force meeting. He would have wanted me to do the next right thing, like he did. I went, paid attention, wrote my story, and cried privately. Dad may have been there, too, because more cake than I ate was missing from my plate. Dad loved cake.

Missing you very much/Photographer: mom or Spence or me

Missing you very much/Photographer: mom or Spence or me

Directions to Lake Placid — where they honeymooned — from New York and New Jersey begin with “Take the NY State Thruway (I-87) north . . .” The new bridge was to open in two months; the Taconic State Parkway was “it” back then, mom said. When my uncle’s company moved him to Albany in 1954, he packed up his wife (my aunt), and their three-month-old daughter, and headed north.

Nana and papa missed their first grandchild, so every other weekend, mom said, she and her parents headed north. “My dad loved driving the Taconic to Albany,” she said. My parents both had lots of stories, wonderful stories, about their childhoods, and teenage years and growing up, then how they met. A couple in love forever.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

On A Bus Home, Accompanied by Springsteen

October 1975. “Born to Run” is blasting on the bus radio, as we Westchesterites and Long Islanders fly through Rockland County. The SUCO bus left Oneonta at 4 p.m., and we’re due to arrive at the County Center at 8:30 p.m.

Especially  significant to the artist: her watercolor painting "Coming home on the Tappan Zee" /© Donna Davies Timm

Especially significant to the artist: her watercolor painting “Coming home on the Tappan Zee” /© Donna Davies Timm

Then we see it, the Tappan Zee Bridge. While I’m glad to be back for the weekend — and looking forward to catching up with friends I’ve not seen in two months — I’m unprepared for the little shiver that runs through me.

I chose the upstate New York college for its nutrition program, then wondered what made me think chemistry would be easier than in high school? The following year I transferred to community college, switched majors, and worked part-time.

The bridge was nearly 20, the average age on that bus; Bruce, not much older.

Pile Driving the H-Beams//© Edith S. Downing

Pile Driving the H-Beams//© Edith S. Downing

Months ago, I wrote about artwork online that chronicled progress on the Hudson River as a new bridge was built. Colorful, bold, expressive watercolors detailed by Rob Yasinsac in Tappan Zee Bridge Construction Art by Edith Downing.

You’ve seen creative Tweets, read the press release, and perused the blog posts: Thursday is the deadline for the 2014 Bridge Art Show, a collaboration with ArtsWestchester, Rockland Center for the Arts, Rivertown Artists Workshop and Nyack Art Collective.

"Painter's easel and construction crane, Grand View, NY," photographed in 1954 by John J. Rooney, Jr./The Nyack Library Local History Image Collection and HRVH

“Painter’s easel and construction crane, Grand View, NY,” photographed in 1954 by John J. Rooney, Jr./The Nyack Library Local History Image Collection and HRVH

The project’s Visual Quality Panel — including RoCA Board of Directors President Robert L. Fellows — will select a Best of Show and two runners-up for the work, shown throughout the summer in Tarrytown and Nyack.

If I were a painter, my canvas would show the inside of that chartered bus, where you step up into seats on either side of the aisle; above them, compartments hold luggage and coats. In those seats, some teenagers are dozing, some are watching the bridge — illuminated in the dark sky — move closer, others are belting out, “Tramps like us baby we were born to run!”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Another Project First; TZC’s 18-Month Marker

Juxtaposing LEGO® Build Club model of the New NY Bridge and photo of the Tappan Zee Bridge/© Janie Rosman 2014

Juxtaposing LEGO® Build Club model of the New NY Bridge and photo of the Tappan Zee Bridge/© Janie Rosman 2014

It was late afternoon at Tarrytown Third Friday, and the sun would not cooperate with me. Yet when I transferred the pictures, this one spoke to me. So maybe the sun was on my side after all: it cast a perfect light on both bridges in the window.

Last week marked 18 months since Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) went on the clock. Stay tuned for more about the I Lift NY, due here soon. And remember the U.S. Coast Guard’s Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) and Safety Zone.

It also highlighted another project milestone:

“The first of two floating batch plants arrived on the project site this week, and has begun producing high-strength concrete for construction operations, ” a July 18 press release told us.

“The floating plants will supply a majority of the new bridge’s concrete on the river, without the use of local roads. With reduced environmental impact and less project construction traffic on local roads, these state-of-the-art floating batch plants are crucial to the efficient construction of the New NY Bridge.”

Sign for Interchange 9 (I-287) of the Cross Westchester Expressway is © 2001, Jeff Saltzman. All rights reserved.

Sign for Interchange 9 (I-287) of the Cross Westchester Expressway is © 2001, Jeff Saltzman. All rights reserved.

Yesterday morning, I had an appointment in Nyack, and although I left on time, I hit traffic just after Exit 9 (last exit before bridge). Lane closures. After writing about them, how could I forget? I did.

Here are this week’s I-87/I-287 lane closures, and project updates. I’m going to Rockland again in late afternoon/early evening, and figure on westbound traffic.

Reminder: deadline for the 2014 Bridge Art Show is nine days from today. Paint, photograph and sculpt your interpretations of the bridge — new design or current.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 84 other followers

%d bloggers like this: