Archive for February, 2015|Monthly archive page

Young Engineers Building Bridges to their Futures

Community Relations Specialist Dan Marcy answers young engineers’ post-presentation questions/NNYB Outreach

Community Relations Specialist Dan Marcy answers young engineers’ post-presentation questions/NNYB Outreach

The 400 students from Anne M. Dorner Middle School’s 6th- and 7th-grade classes watched, enchanted. Teachers and administrators did, too.

“We loved seeing it,” Assistant Principal Erica Naughton said of the video “Project Year 2014 in Two Minutes” that held everyone’s attention.

The kids learned “about the bridge, its history, why it’s being rebuilt, and what it will look like when finished,” Naughton said of the presentation earlier this month. “Also about the materials being used and what they’ll do with the metal when they recycle the old bridge.”

“Whenever we get an option to provide students with real world experience that they can connect to the classroom, it makes the lesson purposeful.” — Assistant Principal Erica Naughton

It was helpful for them to see different career opportunities when people working on various areas of the project were highlighted with their job titles.

Fine-tuning a bridge design contest entry/NNYB Outreach

Fine-tuning a bridge design contest entry/NNYB Outreach

They had lots of questions. “One student asked on the way out if the old bridge would fall down,” she said. “I’ve been talking about the bridge since I was a kid. The answer was ‘no, they’re building a new bridge now because the current one is too expensive to maintain.”

Another student asked what they’ll do with the old bridge. “They’ll repurpose the parts and melt down the metal to use for other projects,” she said. The kids were excited to get souvenir posters!

After the presentation, students in Maria Levine’e technology class who were entering the Engineering Encounters Bridge Design Contest got one-on-one feedback from project officials. “They got help with redesign, meeting the competition’s specifics, and fine-tuning their ideas,” Naughton said.

* * * * *

Students are preparing for the Regional STEM Festival on March 7.


“We need to do something to increase students’ interest in this,” Naughton said. “If a students becomes interested in middle school, and maintains that interest in high school and college, then he or she may go into one of those areas as a career.”

The program features “anything in the area of robotics inventions, major research and exhibitions. The kids get feedback from evaluators to help them move their programs along, and it’s a fun learning experience,” she said.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Sub-Freezing Weather No Deterrent for Project

Knowing we move the clocks in less than three weeks helps

Knowing we move the clocks in less than three weeks helps

New York is frozen with zero plus single-digit degrees Fahrenheit that makes 30 degrees sound like a heat wave. A friend who lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada said that’s warm to her since below zero is the winter norm there.

The river’s ice is neither thick enough for skating or walking as it was in earlier years nor solid enough for Hudson River Ice Club members to enjoy a foray as they did last year; recent plans were snowed out.

President’s Day at 7 a.m./EarthCam® construction camera

President’s Day at 7 a.m./EarthCam® construction camera

Bridge project river work is suspended while the bridge builder continues off site work; its strict schedule includes a two-month shutdown during winter months. While you may not see progress — yesterday was two months since the batch plant accident, after which both plants were removed — work continues at fabrication shops in Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

No new updates from Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC), indicating the investigation continues as TZC assesses if and how the plants’ absence on site affects that schedule. Crews are repairing the damaged plant and replacing silos on the other, Julian said last month.

Yesterday after sunset/EarthCam® construction camera

Yesterday after sunset/EarthCam® construction camera

Work also continues at Port of Coeymans, one of TZC’s staging yards and the assembly site for hundreds of enormous steel girders that will connect the columns and support the new crossing’s road deck. Construction materials delivered there mainly by barge, some by truck, are fabricated into bridge sections to be delivered by barges to the project site.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

PMIW Members Learn Communication is Integral to Managing and Delivering the NNYB Project

Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson speaks  to PMI Westchester members in Mt. Kisco/NNYB Outreach

Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson speaks
to PMI Westchester members in Mt. Kisco/NNYB Outreach

“This is the largest project in the country, and all our members at one time or another use the bridge,” PMI Westchester (PMIW) member Peter Roggemann said. “This was something we’d all find worthwhile.”

Roggemann, a former treasurer of PMIW, volunteers as an Event Coordinator and is responsible for recruiting the speakers

Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson was keynote speaker for the group’s 5th Annual Professional Development Day (PDD). Held last April 4, the program featured eight presentations around the theme “The Twenty-First Century Project Manager: Delivering Stakeholder Value.”

“Many struggle with delivering a successful quality project safely, on or ahead of schedule and on budget — but it can be done. It will take a collaborative effort working with the design-build team from design refinement through detailed engineering until the final stages of construction.” — Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson

The chapter has almost 600 members from Westchester and Rockland, and is part of of Project Management Institute, the world’s largest not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PMI has more than 200,000 members in 150 countries worldwide.

“We also have 10 monthly chapter meetings with a speaker relating to some aspect of project management,” Roggemann said. “It can be about technical tools, templates for project metrics, leadership, communication, or defining project goals and outcomes,” he said.

PMI West. members  and keynote speaker/NNYB Outreach

PMI West. members and keynote speaker/NNYB Outreach

PMI Westchester’s Job Club meets meet at the Westchester Campus of Fordham University meets bi-weekly; this week features a demonstration on the latest version of LinkedIn 3.0.

““We offer two educational programs for people preparing for project management certification. One offers in-depth technical reviews of the Project Management Book of Knowledge (The PMBOK® Guide), which details the standards created by PMI,” Roggemann explained. “The next course begins April 11 and meets for five full session Saturdays on Iona College’s campus. The next study group begins March 24 and meets for six Mondays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30. p.m.”

In the Study Group members take practice questions in preparation for the Professional Project Manager exam , and the leader discusses their answers. A monthly member-led breakfast roundtable focuses on topics that include “tools people are using, and how they’re using project tools,” he said.

“It is always a pleasure to meet with local professional organizations like Project Management Institute. These gatherings allow us to connect with other construction managers who deal with similar issues on their projects, share ideas, and explain the dynamics of running a complex mega-project like the New NY Bridge.” — Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson

“I was very impressed with the presentation and the process put in place to communicate with stakeholders,” Roggemann said. That the design build team is in the same building “was to us an impressive way to make sure everyone is on the same page so there’s no waiting time for someone to get back with answers.”

The theme for PMIW’s 6th Annual PDD on March 28 is “The Entrepreneurial Project Manager.” For specifics, click here.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Behind the Lens at the New NY Bridge Project

Upper Grandview picture: a very pretty jigsaw puzzle/EarthCam® construction camera

Upper Grandview picture: a very pretty jigsaw puzzle/EarthCam® construction camera

If you’re like I am, then you’re checking out the magnificent Hudson River sunrises and sunsets courtesy of the EarthCam® construction cameras strategically located at the New NY Bridge project site.

Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) hired the Hackensack, New Jersey-based, webcam technology company to stream the five-year project, satisfying and sparking public interest and curiosity. The first of five cameras was installed last September (2013), offering panoramic and marina views of the bridge at 15-minute intervals, current project information and an interactive archive calendar.

Stokes Creative Group, Inc., TZC’s DBE public involvement consultant, worked with the Thruway team to identify each location and install the cameras,” TZC spokeswoman Carla Julian said. “They were chosen to provide the best views for project construction progress.”

The most recently-added Westchester webcam offers views of the toll plaza, maintenance facility site and abutment. Julian said there are no plans for additional cameras. Images stored remotely in a secure server by EarthCam® can be accessed via the New NY Bridge website.

Each camera takes 9.0 Megapixel images (3456 x 2592 pixels), (1/1.7″ 15.0 Megapixel CCD) from s 2.8 Lens: F/2.8-F/4.5, with a motorized zoom of 28mm-140mm and a 200% zoom range.

“Typically, images are captured and stored only one per hour,” Julian explained. “The project team chose to configure these cameras to take one image every 15 minutes to allow the public to see even more of the work that is progressing,” Julian explained

That interval “was determined to be the proper time that would allow the camera to capture an image and upload it to the server,” she said.

So you see the best quality picture of the progress to email, save, or post via Twitter or Facebook.

“The web cameras continue to be the most popular section of the website attracting hundreds of visitors each week,” Julian said. “It is estimated that by the end of the project almost 700,000 images will have been collected.”

You know the video “Project Year 2014 in Two Minutes” that’s popular with the public and with educational outreach presentations?

The video shows TZC’s armada of floating cranes and hundreds of workers installing nearly two-thirds of the new bridge’s foundation piles during the first 12 months of construction.

It’s an example of the webcams’ other goal “to create time-lapse video programs that show the new bridge rise out of the Hudson in a few short minutes,” she said.

All five — in Rockland (Upper Grandview), on the bridge’s main span, at the Tarrytown Marina, in Tarrytown and at the Westchester landing — will remain positioned through the project’s completion.

Which are your favorite EarthCam® views?

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times February 12, 2015.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Love Story: New York City, 1955, Happenstance

Orig, Madison Square Garden/Library of Congress (

Orig, Madison Square Garden/Library of Congress (

He wore jeans and a black sweater over a red-and-white checked shirt. She wore a navy blue accordion-pleated skirt, full, that swung as she walked, and a pale pink wool button-down sweater.

She came down the steps alone, deserted minutes earlier by a friend who used her as an excuse to leave the house. She was nervous, alone in the skating rink, and wondering what to do. Then she saw him sitting, busy with something, an unlit cigar in his mouth. He looked up and went back to his Times crossword puzzle.

Then he looked up again, this time twirling his hand around and asking with his expression. She questioned and pointed to herself. “Me?” He nodded. Onto the ice they went.

That was March 1, 1955, during singles’ skate night at the “old” Madison Square Garden. They celebrated their first Valentine’s Day 50 weeks later as husband and wife.

Mom and dad were married on October 23, 1955, and were blessed with 58 years together. Directions to Lake Placid — where they honeymooned — from New York and New Jersey begin with “Take the NY State Thruway (I-87) north . . .” The new bridge was to open in two months; the Taconic State Parkway was “it” back then, mom said.


Valentine’s Day was special for them. After dad stopped driving, I’d take him to buy cards and flowers for mom. She bought him cards and made a special dinner for them, or they’d have a date night. When his health began to decline, and he could no longer move around easily, he’d ask me to please choose cards. I think mom knew; she told me later and thanked me for keeping this from him.

Dad passed away last year on February 27, two days short of the day they met. It was 24 hours before the final transit task force meeting. Two unrelated events were suddenly joined in my world; talking of one reminded me of the other.

Mom told me they were best friends and soul mates, said “I love you” often and meant it, and never went to sleep angry with each other. They laughed a lot together. Dad had a wicked sense of humor, she told me; I know she does.

The other day she and I were looking at pictures, remembering, smiling, laughing, crying at the memories, some in black and white, others in color, all captured in still life.

We both miss him terribly. Mom loves to tell the story of how they met: had she not accompanied a friend, had he not gone to the ice skating rink . . .

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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