New Falcon Chicks (two so far) need Names

This is the tree in front of the apartment, where my parents moved my brother and me nearly 50 years ago. Sometime at the end of June will be half a century.

I love this tree that turns pink for about two weeks before erupting into green leaves. This year it’s less dense because the gardeners trimmed lower branches.

What does this have to do with the bridge? Nothing. It’s a pretty tree and deserved recognition. However, high on the Tappan Zee Bridge nest box are new falcon chicks, and they need names.

Mama falcon’s watchful eye over her new little ones (seen behind in nest box)/EarthCam®

Two-way traffic will shift onto one of the immense new 3.1-mile spans, giving motorists a better view of work on the eastbound span.

Stay cable installation for the westbound span is complete; one-third (32) for the eastbound span are attached to their respective towers and tensioned to structural steel.

Crews are installing concrete noise barrier panels along the northbound Thruway in South Nyack this week and installing transparent acrylite noise barriers on the Rockland approach on the soon-to-open westbound span, readying it for motorists.

Watch for update with details in this Thursday’s Rockland County Times.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Spring has Sprung: Nyack Buzzing with Activity

It was perfect weather to be outside Sunday, and Memorial Park in Nyack was packed with cars. We sat for a while under a tree — as luck would have it, there was a spot waiting for us — and took in the view.

This after checking out the Nyack Street Fair, always a fun experience.

That day marked five weeks since I was walking down steps and missed the step, falling and injuring my left knee and upper leg. Walking has become easier with cortisone shots, and I’ll be starting physical therapy next week. It was gorgeous outside, and I didn’t want to miss the day.

Birds flying everywhere, crowded viewing area, people enjoying the weather and checking out the bridge and the Spotter’s Guide and happy winter finally left. The giant crane was positioned near the Rockland shoreline, and people were taking pictures with their cell phones.

So when will the westbound span open? The summer before the project began, then state DOT Project Director Michael Anderson said traffic will switch to the new bridge sometime during the fourth year (2017).

Then we heard west/northbound traffic would move to the new span in December 2016, and two months later (February 2017) to move east/southbound traffic as well. Former Executive Director Robert L. Megna decided in early November to postpone the first opening until spring 2017.

Project officials are talking about “sometime this year.” I wonder if there are still built-in contract incentives for finishing the project before spring 2018 or penalties for completing it later? Is the bridge builder still on a 62-month schedule?

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Naming Contest for Soon-to-Arrive Falcon Chicks

Word has it that little eyases will be hatched & need names/Photo courtesy of EarthCam®

One of the fascinating parts of covering this project includes writing about what makes this bridge different from the others: its resident falcons.

Jacob Tanenbaum’s 3rd-grade class at Cottage Lane Elementary School in Blauvelt is studying climate change that includes a discussion about what they can do to lessen the problem. Peregrine falcons — like those living atop the Tappan Zee Bridge — were among raptors affected by the pesticide DDT 50 and 60 years ago.

“Talking about how we stopped using DDT gives the kids hope that they can effect change in the future,” Tanenbaum emphasized.

This will be the last year mama falcon hatches her eyases (chicks) on the current bridge. She’s due soon and will hatch next season’s eggs on one of the westbound span’s towers.

Thus, the project team — keeping keen eyes on all that happens, including high above the river in a nest box on the Tappan Zee Bridge — said it’s time for another falcon naming contest!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Happy Anniversary: Four Years of Blogging

Spring after the project started: “Figure Sitting at RiverWalk Park”/© Janie Rosman 2013

Four years ago I began writing this blog about what seemed at the time long-range plans that would “some day” materialize. And now, “some day” is here.

Six hundred ninety-three posts — in addition to countless newspaper and magazine articles — later, I still have mixed feelings about the project. It’s exciting to watch from afar and to cover, and it was an adventure to stand on the new westbound span last December. This area will change forever and will have a safer, more efficient crossing, both badly needed.

Aerial view of new/current spans/(Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo)

However, unless the highway on both sides of the river is also revamped, I foresee gridlock as more cars pour off the bridge in both Westchester and Rockland.

I’m still wondering about the shared use path. Without it, the state would have a majestic new bridge minus the added situations the path is creating. Three years ago I wrote that the belevederes, while interesting, gave little thought to practicality or to those who would use the path. Perhaps there’s still time to add shade.

Educational outreach’s fourth year at White Plains Engineering Expo/© Janie Rosman 2017

One official associated with the project joked last year the state could make money by selling soda, iced tea and water at the viewing areas because people may forget to bring hydration. That’s a good idea: remember, you read it here.

The Peregrine falcons are popular, and everyone wants to know where they are. Type “peregrine” into the search box to bring up falcon-related posts. This photo of their nesting box was taken about two years ago, when the bridge was a skeleton in the river.

Secret revealed! When in New York, they live here on the bridge’s northwest side./NYSTA

Less than eight weeks before the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge opened, my parents got married. 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.

* * * * *

This year part of “some day” comes to fruition: two-way traffic will switch to the new westbound span, and the current bridge will be dismantled so the eastbound span can be completed and connected to the landings. They said everything that’s supposed to be completed by 2018 will be finished. So be it!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Engineering Expo and Recognizing Rebar

Today was a perfect chance to learn about the bridge project, what with plenty of experts at the Engineering Expo ready to answer questions. I bet you were there trying to stump one of them.

Not possible. You’d have learned, however, the main span towers are 1,200 feet apart at each end of the channel, and their platforms are 14 feet thick and more than 360 feet long. It took a lot of concrete — 11,000 cubic yards, to be exact — to fill them. And you’d have learned lots more.

While there I visited several exhibitors and, among other things, learned how sewers are relined using a sophisticated method. What caught my eye was an object on the table that was the same size and shape as something I’ve seen before.

I asked the woman if it was rebar; she said yes, it was, and seemed surprised I recognized it. Between you and me, I wouldn’t know a rebar sample from a hole in the wall had it not been for the educational outreach presentations. Speaking of which, check out photos from today here.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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