Archive for April, 2015|Monthly archive page

Traffic Surveys Complete as State and Village Seek Parking Solutions

The survey that South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian wrote about in her weekly update is complete.

Engineers were looking for traffic volume/patterns at the intersections cited below as part of the ongoing efforts to find a solution to the shared use path issue.

“As part of the ongoing investigation into alternative parking locations for the New NY Bridge shared-use bike pedestrian path, engineers will be doing traffic surveys here in our village over the next week. 

At times, you may see traffic engineers near the Thruway entrance ramp behind Village Hall, on South Franklin Street near the Thruway overpass, and on South Broadway near its intersection with Clinton Avenue. 

The traffic surveys will be done during the morning and evening rush hours beginning this Thursday afternoon but are subject to changes in the weather.

We support the Thruway Authority team in doing these surveys to help gather more information as we continue discussing solutions for the shared use path that will work for our residents, our village and all the parties involved.”

Nyack offered its parking facilities to help South Nyack handle the increased vehicular traffic once the bike/walking path opens.

“We’re working on finding solutions in South Nyack and presented several parking options that include Nyack,” Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare said earlier this month. “The (Nyack) mayor is on board with it, the (Nyack) Chamber of Commerce is on board with it, and we’re hoping to find a solution that will work for everyone.”

The Thruway Authority and Federal Highway Administration are undertaking an Environmental Assessment to study those options.

South Nyack received a $250,000 grant through the bridge project’s Community Benefits Program to study the feasibility of redesigning and redeveloping Interchange 10. The village is now considering several proposals from engineering firms and hasn’t awarded the contract. Project officials have a mid-2018 deadline for the bridge’s opening.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Monday Musings: Week Three into Year Three

Of month three . . .

Older bridge and new vertical piers/© Janie Rosman 2015

Older bridge and new vertical piers/© Janie Rosman 2015

You could see the contrast of old to new: the bridge next to sections of its eventual replacement. Five months ago the first set of piers was built, and two weeks later their formwork was removed. Cars and trucks driving on the bridge looked like toys by comparison. This was two weeks ago.

Friday I was on a boat under and around the bridge to watch the super crane make its first placement. Exciting? Yes! I wish the weather and the river had been kinder. It was rough on the water and reminded me of last year, when Mother Nature delayed an historical boat tour.

sun

I’d never seen the early-morning sun reflected from the river. I was aiming for that and the New York City skyline when I snapped this picture and then saw the symbolic silhouette of vertical piers to come.

Yesterday I went to the opening of a student art show at Rockland Center for the Arts and to a friend’s surprise birthday party, and my only concern was that a car would change lanes across the newly-painted solid white lines. A few did.

activityHere’s why the the U.S. Coast Guard expanded the Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) and established a safety zone around the project site. You can see one of the recently-returned floating concrete batch plants in the background to the left, a boater warning sign in the foreground, cranes operating to the right, and traffic above on the bridge.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Super Crane: First Historic Lift, Placement on New Bridge

Placements can take from 1 to 4 hours/© Janie Rosman 2015

Placements can take from 1 to 4 hours/© Janie Rosman 2015

Another page of bridge history was written yesterday when the I Lift NY fitted a 600-ton precast concrete pile cap on a set of piles.

It was the super crane’s first of many placements and future lifts.

“You have the tub sitting over four piles that are accepting the load, so precision is key,” Prof. Ted Zoli, HNTB National Bridge Chief Engineer on the bridge project, explained.

Strong winds and choppy waters were no match for the crane’s precision and zero margin for error.

Prof. Ted Zoli describes to reporters the intricate process of placing a cap on groups of piles/© Janie Rosman 2015

Prof. Ted Zoli describes to reporters the intricate process of placing a cap on groups of piles/© Janie Rosman 2015

“You’re surveying it and want to hold it (tub) vertically so you’re not changing the position of the load,” Zoli said. Cleared around the piles, the arm began lowering the tub carefully, slowly, within that clearance.

The piles were supported on four adjustable beams “that will support the pile cap once the crane lets go,” Zoli said. The cap will be lowered into position, and each beam will be wound down to the top of each pile to support the pile cap on them. “Once contact is made, and the load is taken off the crane, the four beams are used to continuously lower the pile cap to its final precise place.

Tubs will then be filled with rebar and concrete.

Moored via spuds (parking brakes)/© Janie Rosman 2014

Moored via spuds (parking brakes)/© Janie Rosman 2014

Perched on a 384-foot barge, the lifter was anchored by spuds (like parking brakes) plunged 60 to 70 feet into mud (depending upon floor elevation). With neither a steering system nor self-propulsion, it was moved and positioned by tugboats, and maneuvered by anchors running out 600 feet from the sides, once the spuds were pulled up. Its power comes from three diesel-powered main generators and one auxiliary generator.

“We brought in the I Lift NY super crane to reduce construction time and cost, and this first lift is another symbol that the New NY Bridge is officially on the way,” Thruway Acting Executive Director Robert L. Megna.

Rebar cages are fitted into pilings, filled with concrete and then the crane places a tub over them/© Janie Rosman 2015

Rebar cages are fitted into pilings, filled with concrete and then the crane places a tub over them/© Janie Rosman 2015

Following a six-week journey from Oakland, CA, days before Christmas 2013 — escorted by tugboats Lauren Foss and Iver Foss — the super crane arrived at The Port of New York and New Jersey. It was sent to a private facility in Jersey City, where it was prepped and did test lifting before traveling to the project site.

Owned by bridge builder Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC), the I Lift NY sits high in the water, reducing the project’s dredging needs by 50 percent.

Its lifting power (1700 metric tons or 1929 US tons) from three diesel-powered main generators and one auxiliary generator incorporated into the barge will hoist and place sections — some weighing 900 to 1,000 tons — of the new twin-span bridge and will assist when the current bridge is dismantled.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

A First Look at the Project, Intriguing Queries

Additional photos courtesy of RPEA

Fascinated, RPEA members asked insightful questions/NNYB

Fascinated, RPEA members asked insightful questions/NNYB

Someone wanted to know if the cables on the new bridge could be played like a harp. “Can you land a Cessna on the bridge?” another member asked.

Good-natured laughter ensued as everyone’s eyes focused on the speaker. Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare answered all questions, some with a grin, during a recent presentation to the Westchester Putnam Chapter of Retired Public Employees Association (RPEA).

“It’s the first time our program had a topic of broad public interest,” member Cheryl Gajowski said, since programs focus on members’ specific interests.

registration

“We have had many and varied speakers at each Lunch Meeting,” Chapter Chair Judy Bernstein said. “Our chapter has four lunch meeting per year at different venues, and our members look forward to these meetings to hear the different messages each speaker presents.”

Members have a chance to socialize, invite potential members and make friends and become informed, Bernstein said. This meeting was an eye-opener as it’s the first time many in the group learned about the bridge project.

members 1

“This is the second year we are finding a venue located within the greater geographic population hub in south/easterly Westchester County with a possible broader new member base,” she said. “In addition, our membership enjoys visiting new venues.”

Her husband, Dr. Martin Bernstein, took flying lessons and asked about the Cessna landing on the new bridge and in the river.

Questions ranged from suicide prevention and safety netting to mass transit options to lane configurations when the new, wider bridge meets the three-lane Thruway in Rockland.

“I learned there will be two spans, and the train (if and when it comes) will be between them,” Bernstein said. She’s also happy to learn all supplies are made in America, and that when it’s demolished, the old bridge will be recycled in the USA.

members 2

RPEA’s staff is mostly government retirees sharing the same concerns all of us face in our lives; it has 19 chapters in New York, Florida, and in the Carolinas. Headquartered in the State Capital makes it convenient to work with state legislators on concerns everyone shares.

A former town planner for Yorktown and Bedford, Bernstein has a master’s degree in urban planning. “I reviewed plans and summarized their physical, social and conservation planning designs to the planning board,” she said.

Members were employed at state, county or local levels of public service and volunteer by meeting with legislators and explaining their interests and legislative priorities. There are 19 chapters in New York, Florida, and in the Carolinas.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

From the “Wish I’d Had a Camera With Me” Dept.

The crane looked really close to the bridge as I drove to Nyack Monday morning. On the way back I didn’t notice if it was this close or that close and checked the camera when I got home.

It looked so much closer when I saw it from the car/EarthCam® construction camera

It looked so much closer when I saw it from the car/EarthCam® construction camera

Even with poor-to-no visibility the crane was difficult to miss: huge, it looked to be smack-dab against the right side of the bridge. Depth perception was missing, however, since the construction camera revealed it to be a short distance from the main span. The boom arm was closer, though.

Visibility was infinitely better Wednesday afternoon/EarthCam® construction camera

Visibility was infinitely better Wednesday afternoon/EarthCam® construction camera

Learn more about how the construction cameras are capturing the project here.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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