Cynthia Nixon on Tolls, Transparency, TZB Name

In Tarrytown, Democratic gubernatorial challenger Cynthia Nixon and NYS Assemblyman Tom Abinanti discuss the bridge, govt. transparency and other issues./© J Rosman 2018

NYS Assemblyman Tom Abinanti (92nd AD) and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon discussed tolls, names and more yesterday against a backdrop of the remaining Tappan Zee Bridge and the new Cuomo Bridge.

The “more” was your intrepid reporter asking Nixon, an education activist, Emmy, Tony and Grammy award-winning actress, about the path that will disrupt South Nyack a second time and for which crews will begin prep work next week.

“What most people use is transit and roadways, and the Tappan Zee Bridge is part of that system,” Abinanti said, endorsing Nixon for governor. He said the project has been shrouded in secrecy, and media have been unable to access information re funding, construction and time schedules.

“When I was a kid, my mother worked at Lamont-Doherty (Earth Observatory), and I spent a lot of time in Rockland,” Nixon told the group. “There are a lot of bad feelings about the way the Tappan Zee Bridge was renamed, so hastily, without community participation.”

The late Mario Cuomo “was a beloved governor, and I don’t think it’s out of place to name some important landmark in New York after him,” she said. “I’m not sure this was the right way to do it, without community participation, without the community weighing in.”

Nixon wants more transparency about the Cuomo Bridge’s cost, what the tolls will be and the plans for mass transit across 3.1-mile spans in addition to buses.

While tolls are frozen until 2020, costs beyond and discounts for Westchester and Rockland residents who cross for work or leisure remain unknown.

“I think getting rid of the toll takers was very hastily done, and the company given the contract has a troubling record in other parts of the country,” Nixon said. “At a time when there is great concern about identity theft and people using others’ private information, I think we need greater transparency and accountability when you’re dealing with citizens’ private information.”

I asked about how to preserve South Nyack from the impending construction when a side path is built next to the Esposito Trail. Nixon said the administration didn’t take the village into account when plans were made.

“We needed more community involvement,” she said. “We have such beauty in the state, and yet we see gentrification that is not making New York for the people who are living in those communities.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

What’s the Walking Distance of the New Path?

This is happening! Next week and/or mid-month, construction and prep begin for the new path. The above (driving) distance is from 303 S. Broadway in Tarrytown to where the shared use path would open onto Clinton Avenue and S. Franklin Street in South Nyack. So perhaps while the bridge is 3.1 miles, the distance from the Tarrytown information center parking lot to South Nyack is 3.3 miles?

If you start at the South Nyack parking lot, then it’s a longer walk to Tarrytown.

A friend and I used to take the train into New York City at night and walk around. If 20 city blocks (street to street, not avenue to avenue) is one mile, than we covered quite a bit of territory. I wore Easy Spirit Motion shoes and never thought twice about comfort as my feet were happy. Sneakers might be more supportive now, especially after hip surgery; however, Merrells have been and are my mainstay.

Maybe either the Thruway Authority or the state will consider offering rides to walkers who need them as there’s no shade on the bridge. Bringing an umbrella takes up space, and unless I was the sole walker it’d be rude to take up someone else’s space.

I was gently reminded last week the new path is more than six miles roundtrip. While I’m planning to walk one way, I might need that ride back as it’s been more than 20 years since I walked 60 city blocks in one night with my friend.

Still, I recently resumed walking between one to two miles daily at least four times a week. During one of early the open houses for the project, someone from the state joked about selling cold beverages at the viewing areas. It wouldn’t be a bad idea.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

TBT: Three-Month Dredging Period Begins; Nautical Warnings Reiterated

From five years ago today. Photo courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority.

Yesterday opened the three-month (to November 1) window for dredging in the Hudson River, and today began round-the-clock operations.

“Excavation is in the shallow water to the east and west side(s) of the Federal Navigation Channel,” the Local Notice to Mariners reported. “Various barges are anchored outside the Federal Navigation Channel upstream of the bridge. On scene are the dredges WEEKS 506 & 551, tugs and barges that are lit; all are monitoring 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.”

This information is reiterated in the Boat Owners Association of the United States’ East Coast Alerts by Mel Neale (August 1, 2013).

The chosen design requires less environmental impact regarding pile driving, dredging and threats to fish; the NYS DEC Final Permit, issued March 25, 2013, and additional Coast Guard information, are posted at the New NY Bridge website, which issued a press release today re operations and safety.

“Equipment associated with the operation is arriving on site. Approximately one dozen barges and other specially designed dredging vessels will be part of the operation,” the release said. It referred to the Coast Guard’s revised Notice to Mariners that details updated safety information, “including a request that boaters use extreme caution within 1,000 feet of all construction barges as a safety precaution.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

Fewer Expansion Joints ensure a Smoother Ride

These are the expansion joints — one of 12 such joints on the westbound span that absorb the bridge’s steel and concrete slight expansions and contractions — I photographed that freezing December day, when media got its first look at the westbound span, and when the main span towers were completed.

Same for the eastbound span in the above photo, courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority. So while crews are pouring concrete between the deck panels on some parts of the span, they’re installing joints in other areas of it.

Deck panel installation for that span and its 11 joints was completed earlier this month. South of the new span (below), Tappan Zee Bridge pile caps and piles await removal. Photos are courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

It nearly 200 expansion joints made for noisy and bumpy rides, sometimes in sync to songs on the radio.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

Last Historical Society of Rockland County TZB Tour

You find all sorts of interesting objects in the Hudson River, like these pier caps from the Tappan Zee Bridge that were being barged to the Port of Coeymans and will be reused. Photo courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

Today was the last time the Mississippi-style paddle wheeler River Rose hosted the Historical Society of Rockland County’s Tappan Zee Bridge Experience: Past, Present and Future. I attended last month and saw the bridge, despite missing a center chunk of its span and landings, getting as much camera attention as its recent $4 billion replacement.

“This is our fifth year, we’ve taken 12 trips and about 1,800 people” to see the bridge project, HSRC Executive Director Susan Deeks said during that trip. “It’s been a blast. Everyone has had a good time during these trips.”

It has been a blast for me, Susan, for the past five years, and I thank you and HSRC, the Thruway Authority and the bridge project for these fascinating and unparalleled adventures.

Crews continue removing parts of the Tappan Zee and putting overhead gantries on the eastbound span. Might as well take down the 45-miles-per-hour speed limit LED signs on the westbound span gantries as vehicles, especially trucks, like to ignore them. I follow the speed limit and get tailgated.

Getting there. Gantry installation, closure pours, concrete pours at the Rockland landing and work on the Thruway maintenance and state police facility continue.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

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