Work on TZB Landings brings Lane, Exit Closures

Recent photo of the Westchester landing shows two-way traffic moving on the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge while crews begin demolishing the Tappan Zee Bridge’s landings courtesy EarthCam® construction camera.

River Road in South Nyack is closed while crews work on the Rockland landings; click here for detour route, ramp and lane closures from Exit 11 southbound to Exit 9.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

New Bridge in the Distance, TZB Removal Ensues

Eastern side of former and new bridges from a third-floor window/© Janie Rosman 2017

Driving west on Benedict Avenue you can see a few of the main span towers as you descend down the hill. It’s a tease until the trees are bare of leaves; their tops are visible.

I took this photo from the third floor day room of mom’s rehab facility one week before the westbound span officially opened. Crews began removing the Tappan Zee Bridge’s landings and abutments last week, which I noticed last week. Today is one month since vision correction in my left eye and two weeks since my right eye’s correction. My distance vision is crystal clear.

However, out of their (and our) line of vision, crews are busy under the bridges:

Two people were talking about the bridge yesterday before dinner. Watching the towers rise was entertaining, one woman told me. “We used to look to see how high they were getting,” she’d say excitedly.

More of the bridges will be visible on the coming weeks as trees directly in front of the day room window change color and fall. Perfect view of sunset, too.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Artistic Installations gather at Scarecrow Invasion

As I drove past this friendly group yesterday, I heard the introduction to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in my head. What a fantabulous line dance team it would be!

This lovely lady greeted me as she hung from one of the trees, floating gracefully in the breeze. And it was breezy! Kinda neat that the wind added to the atmosphere around 3:30 p.m. yesterday at Lyndhurst’s Scarecrow Invasion.

Met a powerful-looking figure who’s really very tame and friendly. A sign on one of his legs says high voltage and for authorized personnel only. The visible sign reminds all to drive slowly on the grounds and when driving past road work.

From its perch, this bird was deep in thought as it watched visitors walking by.

So much to see at this annual creative culmination of time, care and imagination.

Despite a danger warning, the friendly worker above didn’t object when your intrepid reporter posed for a photo next to him. Scarecrow Invasion is open at night starting October 19 through 31. Maybe some figures or their parts light up in the dark? Will be cool to see at night. Boo!

NOTE: If you visit the property after dusk to see the outdoor exhibit, then you will be directed to park on a flat level a good hike from the main drive.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Observations about New Bridge’s Eastbound Ride

Partly sunny weather was perfect for checking out the new eastbound ride. I was Rockland-bound to pick up copies of the October issue of Rivertown Magazine. (My story about haunted places in the county begins on page 46.) Despite posted signs, so many cars and trucks whizzed by!

As my focus was the eastbound ride — until last Friday, the westbound span was open to single-direction traffic — I enjoyed the familiar view and started to count the vehicles passing me.

On the way back, I saw signs on South Broadway in South Nyack telling drivers River Road is closed and to use 9W South. Eastbound drivers are redirected from the former to the new approach span.

It’s a little disconcerting to see the gantries facing the other way. Each has one overhead message telling trucks and trailers not to use the left lane. A 45-miles-per-hour speed limit sign is posted on their poles as well.

It was only natural to look over at the Tappan Zee Bridge. Once I neared the new span’s Westchester landing, I saw in the distance construction crews and a faint cloud of dust at the TZB’s landing as the removal process begins.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

A Look Back at Turn-of-the-Century Bridge Plans

Originally scheduled for print publication, this story was cut due to lack of space. Photos from when the Tappan Zee Bridge was built are courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

Forty-one months ago and with the recently-closed Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge as his backdrop, President Barack Obama spoke about his transportation bill, announcing a new infrastructure plan that included fast-tracking the bridge replacement project.

“At times you can see the river through the cracks of the pavement,” Obama had commented about it. “Now, I’m not an engineer, but I figure that’s not good.

* * * * *

The idea to build a bridge across one of the widest points in the Hudson River began as early as 1905 with a bridge (railroad) Piermont to Hastings. Calls continued for the next 20 or so years.

Craig Long, historian for Rockland County, the villages of Montebello and Suffern and the Town of Ramapo, recalled Pearl River resident and state assemblyman Fred Horn — nicknamed “Father of the Bridge” — proposed a bill in 1930 for a bridge from Piermont to Hastings with Hook Mountain and Rockland Lake as other locations.

During the next two years, Horn proposed that idea and a bridge/tunnel from Snedens Landing to Dobb’s Ferry; however, the site was within the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s 25-mile jurisdiction. Those ideas failed as did Horn when he ran for re-election.

Long said via email that in 1935, the Rockland Causeway-Tunnel Authority was created with a drive to bridge the Hudson from Nyack to Tarrytown. “As studies begin, no determination is made as to whether Upper Nyack, Nyack, or South Nyack will be the bridge’s terminus. In August of that year, it is central Nyack; by October it is South Nyack, Voorhis Point.”

The following March (1936) Grand View was chosen as a potential landing site; by August the War Department approved it and Tarrytown on the Westchester side. While Hook Mountain again a choice the northern location didn’t sit well with Zoning Commissioner Elmer Hader, who gained support for nixing the idea, or with residents.

“This is the beauty spot of the Hudson Valley, which should not be destroyed by a bridge,” Zoning Commissioner Elmer Hader protested. New York State governor Thomas E. Dewey, and local legislators, received hundreds of telegrams and letters protesting the proposed 3.25-mile crossing, according to an editorial in The New York Times said.

South Nyack’s business district and Tarrytown riverfront estates were sacrificed and paved the way for this Hudson Valley crossing more than 60 years ago that lasted beyond its time. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute alumnus Emil H. Pager of Madigan-Hyland designed the $81 million Bridge for a 50-year service life that resulted in a utilitarian appearance, RPI Professor Michael Symons noted.

Foundation piers and steel false work were constructed near Haverstraw at Grassy Point. Rive water was dammed off to lower its level, and when the piers were completed, the dams were broken to release the water. Those newly-constructed sections were then towed downriver to the project site.

Ten days before Christmas 1955, the new bridge opened to traffic, connecting I-87 northbound from New York City to Albany, and later connecting to I-287 (Cross Westchester Expressway). Legislation signed by Governor W. Averell Harriman on February 28, 1956, officially named it the Tappan Zee Bridge to honor the Tappan Indians of the Lenape tribe and Zee for “sea” in Dutch.

Twelve-year-old Paul Anderson surprised everyone at the ribbon-cutting ceremony — including Nyack resident and actress Helen Hayes MacArthur, Thruway Authority Chairman Bertram D. Tallamy, and other dignitaries — by walking across the bridge, earning him a ride in the governor’s black Cadillac.

In 1994, the structure was rededicated and renamed when Governor Malcolm Wilson’s name was added on the 20th anniversary of his leaving the governor’s office.

A 27-mile stretch of Thruway from Suffern to Yonkers opened only 18 months after the first cars drove on the thruway upstate. Not what you’d expect four days after opening was a major traffic accident when four cars traveling from Rockland to Westchester at dusk bumped into each other.

The bridge was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (under Criteria A and C in Appendix D – Preliminary Section 106 and 4(f) Analysis for Tappan Zee Bridge). The purportedly-100-year-old wood barge and its coal cargo submerged below – reminiscent of the river’s role in industry and commerce, and in the construction zone – was also recommended for the same prestigious award.

Coincidentally, March 1952 marked the start of construction, and 60 years later (March 2012) came a Request for Proposal (RFP) for its replacement — the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge — whose westbound span recently opened. As eastbound traffic was moved to that span ahead of schedule, crews are dismantling the TZB’s landings so the new bridge’s eastbound span can be completed.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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