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

Paddle-Wheeling through Hudson Valley History

It didn’t take long to fill seats for both tours of “The Tappan Zee Experience: Past, Present and Future,” presented by the Historical Society of Rockland County on August 12 and September 4 (second date added because the first sold out).

Genuine Mississippi-style paddle wheeler/© 2014 Hudson River Sightseeing Cruises Aboard The River Rose

Genuine Mississippi-style paddle wheeler/© 2014 Hudson River Sightseeing Cruises Aboard The River Rose

Within one week of opening respective ticket sales, both boats were filled, HSRC Executive Director Susan Deeks said, crediting feature stories in the Journal News. “We are maintaining waiting lists for both August 12 and September 4.”

When Board President Larry Singer proposed the idea for a tour, it caught on, and he began looking for charter boats. Once he learned about the paddle-wheeler, “I know this was going to be the choice,” Singer said. “The beauty of the boat, and what HSRC wanted re space (for 140 or 150 people) . . . “We have to do this.”

What a cool way to see the Tappan Zee Bridge, and learn about its history!

“The boat is leased out of Newburgh, and is open for charter during the week,” Singer said of the River Rose, whose owner, Captain John “Duke” Panzella, has been around boats throughout his lifetime. Overwhelmingly positive feedback included comments like “Great idea,” and “Should be fun/interesting.”

President since April, he’s has been an active member of our Bus Trip Committee, “a group of amazing volunteers who produce a dozen off-site bus and walking tours each year under the Historical Society’s banner,” Deeks said.

An HSRC historian will be on board to discuss the Tappan Zee Bridge’s past, the construction and all that entailed in 1955. Project officials from the Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) will talk about the New NY Bridge project.

Places of interest along the shorelines will be pointed out in passing: Hook Mountain, the village of Nyack, the former General Motors plant and Sing Sing prison in Ossining.

The Rockland County Sheriff’s Marine Unit will escort the tour, (which is) “another plus,” Singer said. Throughout the summer, the Marine Unit will be coordinating additional patrols to raise awareness of potential hazards.

For the first time, the unit is patrolling the Hudson River and its 26-mile Rockland County shoreline with three vessels: two from a marina in Stony Point, and a third from a dock beneath the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The Westchester County police department marine unit patrols the eastern 43-mile area from the Bronx border to just north of the Bear Mountain Bridge. Both divisions are coordinating their efforts with the U.S. Coast Guard.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Thought-Provoking Dialogues re Future of Rail

Your intrepid reporter participated in not one live Q&A with ARUP (@ArupGroup) yesterday on Twitter (#FOR2050) — she participated in BOTH.

Arup chat

They were lively, informative, and international, and I’m pleased my questions were retweeted. Participants asked about constrained resources, cost of growing and maintaining rail, urban logistics and environmental constraints, how rail can accept cycling, WiFi on rail, challenges to the industry, where and how young engineering students can learn more, destination stations/multifunctional hubs, skills needed in the field, and funding.

I asked:

Question: What will the rail replace, and how to ensure uninterrupted service during the transition from former system to rail?
ARUP reply: We’d anticipate existing systems to be refurbished and new systems to be installed from day 1 with the latest tech (CS).

Question: How to add rail to a bridge, i.e., the NNYB in NYS (rail to be added later) without closing it or disrupting traffic?
ARUP reply: Depends on the site specifics. Innovative solutions and new materials could help solve this problem (CS).

Question: How will future rail protect infrastructure, while improving transit for commuters and commerce?
ARUP reply: The design (& retrofit in some cases) of infrastructure will take into account future risk and protection needs (CS).

To view both Q&As, held at 12 noon BST, and at 5 p.m. BST, see hashtag #FOR2050.

A technical advisory team of ARUP professionals worked with the Mass Transit Task Force from December 2013 to January 2014, researching past corridor planning efforts, evaluating regional travel needs, providing comparative reviews of other transit system around the United States and world, assessing potential transit modes, and conducting various transit and traffic analyses to test the group’s proposals for the New NY Bridge.

While the task force recommendations do not preclude future light rail or commuter rail, neither is included in short-term and mid-term plans due to costs and time needed to implement them.

Additional posts about ARUP, the task force meetings, and transit on the new bridge can be found via this website.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

To Generate STEAM, Add Equal Amounts of Art

Arts in the region “brings us closer to our neighbors on the other side of the bridge,” ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam said. “Artists love to draw the bridge: it’s symbolic of connections and metaphorically working together.”

Connecting Westchester and Rockland/© Janie Rosman 2014

Connecting Westchester and Rockland/© Janie Rosman 2014

Formerly known as the Council for the Arts in Westchester, the state’s largest, not-for-profit service organization — founded in 1965 by a group of visionary private citizens and public officials — is halfway toward building 50 new partnerships with local businesses for its milestone anniversary next year.

“I love partnering with other arts organizations,” Langsam said, referring to ArtsWestchester collaborating with local creative voices in the 2014 Bridge Art Show. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to work with other arts groups.”

Besides supporting the arts, Langsam felt, partnering with companies “promotes innovative thinking and creativity in the workplace, strengthens community engagement and increases the vibrancy of places to live and work.”

"A New Dialect" by Lise Prown and Curt Belshe/© Lise Prown

“A New Dialect” by Lise Prown and Curt Belshe/© Lise Prown

One current exhibit, “STEAM: STEM + ARTS,” an outgrowth of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math movement incorporating the arts and its role in teaching creative thinking.

Curated by artist and educator Patricia Miranda, STEAM is divided loosely into four categories — poetic, scientific, technological, environmental — ranging from poetic use of technology to context about technology: interactive installations, and immense diversity within the show.

“People think artists are alone in their studios when, in reality, they’re deeply engaged in the issues of our day,” Miranda said. “Many are in scientific and technology fields, or learning a new technology (for their art), digital mapping or interactive software.”

"November Calm"/© Tom Sobolik

“November Calm”/© Tom Sobolik

Sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Tarrytown to mark its 25th anniversary in Westchester, STEAM is a collaboration between ArtsWestchester and the Westchester Community College Center for the Digital Arts, Peekskill Extension, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

“Thirty-one artists are participating, all of whom have some background in science and math,” Langsam said. “Kids need to focus on science and math, and we hope what without losing the benefit of the arts, we can be helpful in steering kids, and teachers, in that direction.”

“I find it exciting that the pharmaceutical company is working with ArtsWestchester on this exhibit, which further highlights the relationship between science and art,” Miranda said. “It’s interesting to me, since I incorporate some of these ideas into my teaching.”

"Divining Nature" by Rebecca Kamen/© Angie Seckinger

“Divining Nature” by Rebecca Kamen/© Angie Seckinger

The second and fourth pictures are from the exhibit STEAM.

“Each in its own way, art and science stimulate creativity and innovation — both of which are at the core of Regeneron’s approach to discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing new medicines for serious unmet medical needs.” — George Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. through August 16, 2014. At its close, selected pieces will be shown on the Regeneron campus in Tarrytown.

Named in 1975 by Westchester County as its designated arts council, ArtsWestchester provides grants and technical support to cultural organizations and artist residencies in the community. Earlier this year, it received two $1 million federal grants to train art teachers in the Mount Vernon public schools, and to teach STEM through the arts.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Upcoming Week on Land and in River

Three weeks past the longest day of the year, today’s 5 a.m. sky seen from an EarthCam® construction camera in Upper Grandview shows Nature’s palette:

5 am today from Grandview

Twelve hours earlier, a family of ducks swam by, caught on tape in Tarrytown:

5 pm yesterday from TT marina

Work on the Rockland County landing, and the Rockland trestle continues, as does pile driving from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays; and from 12 noon to 7 p.m. on Saturdays.

Take note of this week’s lane closures on I-87/I-287:

• Monday, July 14, and Tuesday, July 15 — southbound right lane near Exit 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Tuesday, July 15, to Thursday, July 17 — TZB lanes: northbound left and middle lanes, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Tuesday); northbound right lane, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Wednesday); and northbound left and middle lanes, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Thursday)
• Friday, July 18 — southbound right lane near Exit 10, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; northbound right lane near Exit 10, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Exit 10 entrance ramp, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Lanes closed? No problem!

First stop during a trip into town/New NY Bridge Outreach

First stop during a trip into town/New NY Bridge Outreach

Perfect day for boating . . . reminder: new safety zone and expanded Regulated Navigation Area (RNA). The Outreach Team has been visiting marinas and boat clubs in Westchester and Rockland, dispensing information about boater safety.

Details — including the Coast Guard’s weekly Local Notice to Mariners, excerpted and in its entirety — are listed under Boater Safety Information on the New NY Bridge website. A LNM primer is here.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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