Archive for December, 2014|Monthly archive page

Tonight: Free Coffee & Tea to Thruway Drivers

Vibrant sky and last 2014 sunrise on the Hudson River/EarthCam® construction camera

Vibrant sky and last 2014 sunrise on the Hudson River/EarthCam® construction camera

You’ll hear quiet on the river tomorrow, a reprieve for New Year’s Day; construction activities resume Friday. All lanes are open through January 4 of next year — a few days from now — in accordance with Governor Cuomo’s Drivers First Initiative.

If you’re on the Thruway and need to take five or stretch your legs, then stop at any of its 27 travel plazas for free hot coffee and tea from 11 p.m. tonight until 7 a.m. tomorrow.

“This New Year’s Eve tradition, in collaboration with Thruway service area operators, is a great way to encourage motorists to take a break during their travels and to help encourage safe driving during the holiday season,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison said in a statement. “It is vital for motorists to stay sober, avoid drowsy driving and use caution not only during the holidays, but throughout the year.”

Reminder: there is no stopping along highway shoulders except in emergencies. For real-time info about traffic conditions on the 570-mile highway, click here.

Wishing you happy and healthy New Year! May the best of last year be the worst of next, and remember, please don’t drink and drive.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Kaleidoscope Eyes: 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Many thanks to you for your comments and thoughts, and for reading here.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Recapping 2014: Condensed Year in Review

This year continued the celebration from December 2013, when Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison closed the deal on a generous TIFIA loan, and the Left Coast Lifter waved — if it can limbo under our bridge, then it can wave — goodbye to California, ready for its 6,000-mile trip to New York Harbor.

Massive crane leaving CA for New York/Jacob Tanenbaum

Massive crane leaving CA for New York/Jacob Tanenbaum

Rumor has it the state renamed the crane I Lift NY due to this blog post.

While super crane was shimmying through the Panama Canal, Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) began its second year on the clock, our toes froze, and the Mass Transit Task force was one meeting away from our travel futures. A monorail would have been fun.

Yikes! It was cold. Frozen river? No problem, tweeted project officials (pic.twitter.com/M6vFOHYdBQ), and before January ended, the super crane arrived.

by justin sullivan

February opened with name-calling: the crane had a new moniker, and folks debated about a legendary folk singer. New safety warnings were issued, the state police and Thruway Authority relocated, and then came the final Mass Transit Task Force meeting. C’mon, you knew it’d be bus rapid transit.

The morning before it, my dear, sweet father passed away in his sleep. I love you and miss you very much, dad. You may have been there, too, because more cake than I ate was missing from my plate. Dad loved cake. Thank you to friends who were there for mom and me that night, throughout the weekend to his funeral, and this past year.

new RNA safety zone

March told us Ramp E in Tarrytown would close for the second time. Mid-month brought annual meetings in both counties and new boater safety regulations. Days later, when another barge escaped, the bridge builder addressed the issue and paid stiff fines.

In April we got money for those transit plans. The Tarrytown Outreach Center relocated, and President Barack Obama and Governor Andrew Cuomo came to town in May. Some construction vessels were now tracked via GPS, and the Outreach Team visited marinas as boating season opened.

Steel piles are ready to be capped/© Janie Rosman 2014

Steel piles are ready to be capped/© Janie Rosman 2014

June announced the 2014 Bridge Art Show. It’s bye-bye to the Rockland landing, and the start of main span pile cap construction. Need funding? How about a $500M loan from CWSRF? The project team sent emergency supplies to Delaware, and EFC approved the money.

A quiet July 4th weekend was followed by stricter safety measures. The Thruway Authority got half of the $511 million, and concrete technology arrived on the Hudson. Piermont boaters now have a safe passage to the main channel, pile cap installation began, and then came a detour.

Opening night: admiring Westchester and Rockland artists’ depictions of the current and future bridge/NNYB Outreach

Opening night: admiring Westchester and Rockland artists’ depictions of the current and future bridge/NNYB Outreach

Another project first: the 2014 Bridge Art Show opened at Nyack First Friday and debuted in Tarrytown the next week, thanks to collaborating groups. Rebar alert per NNYB, and you know the loan that came through? No, no, the EPA said. Educational outreach began its second year, there were lane shifts for construction, and the viewing areas started to take shape.

October brought Cuomo’s Build NY Initiative, and the governor was in Piermont to welcome the crane. Team Outreach celebrated Halloween bridge-style, and a new electronic highway sign was tested.

Two of the new bridge's 86 vertical steel towers seen near the Westchester approach span/NNYB Outreach

Two of the new bridge’s 86 vertical steel towers seen near the Westchester approach span/NNYB Outreach

Several lane closures in November, when the state told the EPA, See you in court. The first two pier towers were completed, and more criticism about the bridge finances from an oversight office. TZC’s president received the “Good Scout” award, and South Nyack asked the governor for help.

Detours, lane closures, and more lane closures kicked off December, and the bridge had a birthday! A mid-month accident — thankfully, no one was hurt — temporarily halted cement production and not the project, which soon begins its third year.

Did I miss something? I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Statement from TZC President re Batch Plant

Reiterating there were no injuries, Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) President Darrell Waters addressed the December 16 accident, its investigation, and review and assessment of TZC’s pertinent safety procedures and operations.

“One of our floating concrete batch plant silos had a structural failure that caused all three silos on the batch plant to collapse,” Waters said. “The damage appears to be limited to the affected silos and part of the surrounding structure.”

Floating concrete batch plant arrived last summer, ready to work/© Janie Rosman 2014

Floating concrete batch plant arrived last summer, ready to work/© Janie Rosman 2014

TZC removed the second batch plant to thoroughly review and inspect their components, including the silos; limited operations are continuing as planned, he said. “We are in the process of determining exactly what happened and why,” Waters said.

The investigation is expected to take several weeks, he said, at which time the public will be informed. “In the meantime, we are working diligently to restore concrete batch plant operations, which are essential to ongoing bridge work,” he said.

Acknowledging foreseeable questions, Waters added, “On projects of this size and scope, there are sometimes hiccups along the road. Adjustments in the schedule and operations may have to be made.”

He emphasized, “If or when an incident occurs, no matter what the size, we will always use it as an opportunity to review and reassess our safety procedures and operations specific to the project.”

As the investigation, and the project, continue, “Safety and environmental stewardship are our top priorities,” he said.

The project’s leading supplier of stone, Tilcon New York, temporarily ceased deliveries and removed its moored barges until further notice from the bridge builder.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Santa, Rudolph and the Tappan Zee Bridge Lights

SANTAsleighFrom this picture, it looks like Santa Claus was doing OK what with the moon and a clear above-the-clouds path. Of course, there are no clouds at the North Pole (are there?), and while I didn’t follow Santa’s path on NORAD, I’m sure many did.

From Tarrytown Marina 8 p.m.

From Tarrytown Marina 8 p.m.

The project’s progressed since the previous year. Because he’s been following the Outreach Team on his computer — and knows many of the kids in school are interested in engineering — Santa was curious to see the project for himself.

View from Westchester 8 p.m.

View from Westchester 8 p.m.

Let’s hope he didn’t dip below the clouds over Westchester and Rockland Counties at 8 p.m. last night because if he did, these pictures are what saw. The fog was so thick it blocked the bridge’s lights, the same ones that shone brightly when I drove to Nyack the weekend before last.

View from Rockland 8 p.m.

View from Rockland 8 p.m.

Thanks to help from the EarthCam® construction cameras placed in several locations around the project site — and, of course, to Rudolph — Santa safely navigated his way around the area before steering above the clouds again.

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER

Today’s bright without fog, and while it there is no snow, the day is special. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, and even if you don’t know the name Burl Ives — or heard him sing about Rudolph — there are some of us (OK, me) who every now and then believe in magic and miracles.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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