Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

Mariners: “Use Extreme Caution” Near the Bridge

Today’s Local Notice to Mariners included the three-month dredging period, and extensive warnings re construction equipment:

“Numerous units of floating construction equipment will be operating in waterway north of the existing Tappan Zee Bridge,” the report — posted under Boater Safety Information on the New NY Bridge website  — said.

“Equipment will include crew boats, tugboats, barge mounted cranes and barges. Work to construct an access trestle and cofferdams north of the Tappan Zee Bridge extending 1,040 feet west from the Westchester shoreline will continue through November 2013.”

Local Notice to Mariners warns of floating construction equipment during the bridge replacement project.

Local Notice to Mariners warns of floating construction equipment during the bridge replacement project.

Citing the temporary fixed platforms, it warned, “Floating equipment necessary for portions of this phase (dredging and pile load test program) include barge mounted cranes, material barges, work boats, and tugboats that will occupy the channels, east and west and adjacent to the main navigation channel,” and noted the four equipment moorings near the Rockland shoreline.

The following was highlighted:

“When transiting the area mariners should stay clear of these locations by a minimum of 1000 feet. 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, paying particular attention to vessel movement and future notices.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

Life on the Highway — On Friday Afternoon

Courtesy of the New NY Bridge

Courtesy of the New NY Bridge

Yesterday afternoon I went to Nyack.

This six-word sentence quietly says traffic, frequent braking, lane changes, and more — wish I’d remembered what came to mind, or had jotted notes. My plan was to leave early and avoid the congestion; when the afternoon got away from me, curiosity came along for the ride (pardon the pun).

I’m sure the experience will be different on the new bridge (depicted above).

I left at 3:40 p.m. for the half-hour trip to Rockland County (Tarrytown is a mere 20 minutes on a good day) and hit westbound traffic on the NYS Thruway. Exiting the Sprain Brook Parkway was tricky, since the highway divides (and drivers think — as I did the first time I encountered it — that if they don’t choose the left lane, they’ll miss the exit to the Thruway).

Not so, which makes that division more confusing; however, I digress. I saw the Thruway traffic from the exit ramp; commuters eager to get home after a long day would be less pleased, especially if they were traveling from White Plains Train Station — which they would have to do if they rode a commuter bus to that station each day.

Checking the sea of metal, glass and wheels snaking ahead, I exited I-287 before it merged with I-87, zipped along Route 119, and then re-entered the Thruway.

Bridge traffic was out in full force, despite the movable barrier adding an extra westbound lane. For a few minutes my car was next to a Tappan ZEExpress bus, which braked in the lane next to me. Trucks that had difficulty with the incline provided ample opportunities to change lanes, which I did; a bus would have difficulty doing that.

Stop-and-go traffic that often crawled made me grin when I passed a 55 MPH speed limit sign. A few times I made it to 40 MPH, then slowed to 20, then braked; I changed lanes and made better time behind the bus than behind another car.

I sincerely hope the Mass Transit Task Force finds solutions amenable to all without adding extra time to commuters’ days — or to their frustration levels.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

Three-Month Dredging Period Begins; Nautical Warnings Reiterated

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).

Courtesy of O'Rourke/New New York Bridge

Courtesy of O’Rourke/New NY Bridge

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

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