Three Months of Dredging: August 1 – October 31

Weeklong process: moving 200,000 oysters out of project area before 2013 dredging/NewNYBridge

Weeklong process: moving 200,000 oysters out of project area before 2013 dredging/NewNYBridge

Tomorrow starts the second stage of three-month (to Halloween) dredging in the Hudson River with round-the-clock operations.

“All excavation will be done in shallow water to the east side of the Federal Navigation Channel. Various barges will be anchored outside of the Federal Navigation Channel downstream of the bridge,” the Local Notice to Mariners reported.

“Operations will be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Vessels on scene will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16,” it continued. “Mariners are urged to use extreme caution and transit the area at their slowest safe speed to create minimum wake after passing arrangements have been made.”

Mariners are advised to transit the main channel, reduce wake and use extreme caution while transiting the area in the vicinity of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

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

Project officials report the dredging deepens the water level near the project site and removed an estimated 187,960 cubic yards of sediment from the bottom of the Hudson River.

The specially-designed environmental clamshell buckets will send less sediment back into the river. Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) trained its field personnel how to protect sturgeon, including how to “safely retrieve, keep alive and return to the river” any fish accidentally caught during the three-month period.

“Obviously our concerns remain the same and the timing is urgent,” Riverkeeper, Inc. Media Specialist Leah Rae said. “We are calling on the National Marine Fisheries Service to act immediately to protect the fish while they investigate this dramatic increase in vessel strikes.”

Project officials say staff will be supervised by the NMFS to make sure the fish are protected; however, Riverkeeper is wary.

Six sturgeon fatalities throughout the estuary were reported to the state Department of Environmental Conservation between 2009 and 2011 — and nearly 13 times that amount (76 sturgeon fatalities) were reported between 2012 and 2014 (since construction began).

See full Riverkeeper article here.

After testing the mud, TZC will process and dispose of it an offsite location. Approximately two feet of gravel (thing giant fish tank) will be placed in the dredged channel so boats and vessels don’t kick up sediment.

“If even one sturgeon mortality were caused by a project vessel strike that would exceed the project’s allowable take,” Rae said.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Southbound Route 9W and Other Lane Closures

Last Friday’s press release from project officials alerted mototorists to numerous lane closures for this week that include southbound Route 9W (Hillside Avenue) in South Nyack, between Shadyside Ave. and South Franklin Street.

It began an hour ago.

Closure is from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through July 31, reducing the road to one lane. Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) flaggers will direct traffic, alternating north- and southbound traffic as needed. Additional signage and other safety measures will be in place to facilitate efficient and safe travel.

chart

Additionally, work installing the electronic toll gantry means three southbound lanes will be closed approaching Exit 11 to just beyond Exit 10 overnight tonight and tomorrow night.

detour

Note that access to the Thruway southbound will be via Route 59 in Nyack tomorrow (Tuesday) from 8 p.m. until Wednesday at 5 a.m.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Update: Nyack Viewing Area Nearing Completion

Nyack officials broke ground last summer (August 7) on a new 90-foot long fishing pier and accessible ramp for access to the river, this to be funded via a $150,000 Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization grant.

Site preparation started three weeks later (August 27).

Nearly completed and with a great view of the bridge project/New NY Bridge Outreach

Nearly completed and with a great view of the bridge project/New NY Bridge Outreach

This week or next crews will be placing the monoculars and information panels, and the layout will be the same as the viewing area in Tarrytown, Nyack Village Administrator Jim Politi told the Rockland County Times.

Instead of a continuous height, the railing will be height-adjusted behind the benches, Politi said. On the main deck will be portable tables and chairs (box seats), a mix of seating and decking.

MemorialPkFishPierPlans

The $400,000 project was financed with $200,000 from the village and matching funds: $150,000 from the Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization grant to build the pier and an ADA-compliant ramp plus a $50,000 grant from the bridge project’s Community Benefits Program.

Tarrytown’s viewing area is complete with a bench (finished earlier this month), three informational panels and two sets of monoculars, Village Administrator Mike Blau said.

Each village’s viewing area is funded by a grant — $49,500 to Tarrytown, and $50,000 to Nyack — from the Community Benefits Program

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Construction You See Near Exit 10 is Progressing

Rendering of gantry that will soon be up and running/New York State Thruway Authority

Rendering of gantry that will soon be up and running/New York State Thruway Authority

An electronic toll collection system now being installed over the southbound Thruway in South Nyack will be up and running and ready for testing this year, and will start collecting tolls later this year or early 2016, when the first span opens.

Motorists will be able to drive through the gantry at normal (regular) highway speeds without braking as is required now, thanks to the gantry’s cameras and other equipment.

No more waiting in line for someone (used to be me) to fish for money or worse, throw it into the coin box (remember those?) and miss.

Motorists who do not have E-ZPass® tags need not feel left out; cameras will take pictures of license plates and mail each driver a bill for the toll fee.

The temporary system will be tested this fall for implementation next spring. During the testing period, drivers won’t be charge or affected by the gantry, and yes, they’ll still have to pay in Tarrytown when driving from Rockland . . . until it closes, and a new system is built in its place.

And for now, it’s still $5 cash.

I’d like to know what you think.

Starting Monday: Anticipate Closures and Delays

Surprise to me: I got to Nyack five minutes after the Nyack Classic Car Night started Thursday and was late due to an accident on the Sprain Brook Parkway. See, I figured there’d be traffic westbound — because, you know, that’s what happens on I-287 late in the afternoon, midday, rush hour and Saturday before noon (like today) — and took the Sprain since it merges with I-287 at Exit 2.

My other route at Exit 5 (further east and more time spent in traffic).

There was no traffic until Exit 1 near the Marriott, and that’s where I exited and took Route 119 to pick up the Thruway. It’s been a while (more than 40 years) since dad taught me how to drive; however, merging into coming traffic hasn’t changed. Some people are selfish drivers. Be courteous.

I digress.

Be aware that Monday and Tuesday nights up to three lanes southbound will be closed approaching Exit 11 and past Exit 10. See chart below for the dates, starting and ending times and locations of lane closures:

chart

State police will be stopping and holding traffic from Exit 11 to Exit 10 before the lanes are closed so construction crews can move equipment from the right shoulder to the left; check the chart for specific ramp closures.

Note that access to the Thruway southbound will be via Route 59 in Nyack overnight from Monday, July 20, though Thursday, July 23, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. while the Exit 10 on-ramp is temporarily closed.

detour

Here’s the press release detailing this and other project work during the week.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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