Manhattan College Alumni Working on NNYB Project Share Their Experiences

Like sculptures that seamlessly emerge from pages, the new bridge will rise out of the river. However, artists’ creative paths are often unexplained, while science, math and engineering are logical and practical.

Yacht book sculpture and photograph by Jodi Harvey-Brown

Yacht book sculpture and photograph by Jodi Harvey-Brown

Mega projects require mega finance, planning, evaluation — and support.

Groundwork for Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC)’s Public Involvement Plan (outreach) was set last summer (2013) to let educators know available resources for grade-through-graduate schools. Last month, four Manhattan College alumni — two of whom are with the New NY Bridge project’s design team, HDR, Inc. in Pearl River, NY — visited their alma mater with special project advisor Brian Conybeare.

“My students see it from an engineering perspective, and Brian highlighted how essential it was, and explained the bidding and selection process,” Dr. Moujalli Hourani, Associate Professor, Head of the Civil & Engineering Department.

Students can take their experiences with them and teach the next generation of engineers./Courtesy Team Outreach

Students can take their experiences with them and teach the next generation of engineers./Courtesy Team Outreach

Eager to learn about New York State’s historic undertaking, “Students asked questions from curiosity, and we asked as professors and engineers,” Hourani said. Will it have rail? Why is it that location? Will the new bridge be moved north? Why replace the existing bridge, and what will happen to it?

While design-build process is contracted and controlled from one source — TZC — the team is held to a deadline. “The final product must be delivered on time and within the budget” he said. “You will see the design and the construction teams working together to deliver the project.”

“The New NY Bridge is a once in a lifetime project and we want it to inspire local students at all levels from graduate school and college down to elementary classrooms. The goal of our educational outreach effort at all levels is to use this historic infrastructure project to inspire the next generation of bridge builders here in New York.” — Brian Conybeare, Special Project Advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo

Less than one month from its June 2014 goal, HDR has completed 90 percent of new structure’s design.

Manhattan College plans to merge some engineering aspects of fhe NNYB project into several courses for next year’s 100-strong senior class./Courtesy Team Outreach

Manhattan College plans to incorporate some engineering aspects of fhe NNYB project into several courses for next year’s 100-strong senior class./Courtesy Team Outreach

“It’s about economics and feasibility: if you don’t maintain your house, no matter what kind of house, it’s going to disappear,” Hourani said. Students learned how a team of engineers working together with design-build can deliver the bridge on time, with the designer and the contractor teaming up to reduce their risks.

“Brian did an excellent presentation for a 135 undergraduate students and seven to 10 faculty members,” he concluded. “I believe the bridge is really very important, and is essential for the growth of the Hudson Valley and the metro area.”

Special thanks to Manhattan College alumni Tom McGuinness, Construction Compliance Engineer for the project, and the college’s former chief engineer, Michael Marcello of HDR, the project’s lead design company, Robert LaMangia of HDR, who dissected the bridge’s structure into nine sections, and coordinated its data for Marcello, and Tony Canale, P.E., Design & Construction Oversight, New NY Bridge project, and Manhattan College adjunct professor.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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