Archive for October, 2015|Monthly archive page

About the Viewing Areas: Seats, Info, Monoculars

Revised post. Nothing will be interactive. No telescopes or periscopes.

Checking out project info and view/Photo: NNYB Outreach

Checking out project info and view/Photo: NNYB Outreach

In addition to the signage, there will be two pairs of monoculars – one is ADA accessible – and benches. You’ll be checking the Spotter’s Guide for sure once the monoculars arrive.

Although I was misinformed about the telescopes, they’d have been fun to use.

Viewing area at RiverWalk Park in Tarrytown will have benches and monoculars/Photo: NYS Thruway Authority

Viewing area at RiverWalk Park in Tarrytown will have benches and monoculars/Photo: NYS Thruway Authority

Initially a pergola – cover of sorts – was included, Tarrytown Village Administrator Mike Blau said. However, when the village bid it, the cost was too high, and it was removed.

Blau said the signs cost $2,070, the monoculars cost $7,258.60, and that the remainder is for the build out of benches. That component is currently out to bid, he said, with bids due back on October 3.

Here are the three panels I mentioned the other day:

design features

spotters guide

construction platform

Here’s the scoop on the Nyack viewing area, which recently opened. Enjoy!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Getting Closer: Road Deck Now Tops Blue Girders

Road deck on this candy bridge was as carefully placed as the concrete deck panels now being lifted into place/NNYB

Road deck on this candy bridge was as carefully placed as the concrete deck panels now being lifted into place/NNYB

Another project first: this month crews began installing the nearly 6,000 high-strength concrete decks for the bridge’s approach spans.

Nearly 1,000 concrete deck panels will cover the main span roadway.

Prefabricated offsite, the deck panels are barged from Port of Coeymans and lifted by cranes and placed on the blue girders that sometimes cause excess braking. The process continues into next year.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Pack 7: Fun Meeting, Lots of Questions, Learning

Cub Pack 7 has Lots of questions about the project./NNYB

Cub Pack 7 has Lots of questions about the project./NNYB

When Bear Scout parent Lou Nash crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge with his family last weekend, he said, they had a greater appreciation of the immense project.

A few days earlier the Educational Outreach Team brought the project to Tuckahoe Cub Scout Pack 7.

“He was an amazing narrator, and his passion for the bridge was evident,” Nash said of Program Administrator Andy O’Rourke. “About 40 1st through 5th graders sat spellbound and asked lots of questions” and were as engaged as their parents.

Legopalooza at Lyndhurst last spring included a hands-on fun project: build the new bridge from LEGO® bricks/NNYB

Legopalooza at Lyndhurst last spring included a hands-on fun project: build the new bridge from LEGO® bricks/NNYB

After visiting Lyndhurst and seeing Educational Outreach Administrator Andy O’Rourke’s presentation, Nash picked up information that included presentations to other scout troops and knew Pack 7 would enjoy it, too.

“We all had a blast,” he said. “Being a scout and from the area made it all the more special.”

A number of parents told Nash it was the best pack meeting they’ve had, and the fun won’t stop here. “We’d love to do more like the LEGO® build,” he said.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Bus Rapid Transit System Gets $10 Million Grant

Link-MainlineSixteen months after it recommended rapid transit when the new bridge opens in 2018, the transit task force rolled out Phase 1 — a $91 million Suffern-Tarrytown-White Plains line — in late June.

Earlier this week the plans received a $10 million federal grant.

After last year’s application for a $26.7 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant through the US DOT was not approved, the state DOT resubmitted its application for $20.4 million in TIGER funds, as Deputy Secretary for Transportation Ron Thaniel noted at the May New NY Bridge community meeting.

Here’s what happened when the transit task force reconvened this past summer:

State Office of Traffic Safety and Mobility Director Todd Westhuis is spearheading the project to revamp the Tappan ZEExpress bus service for the line and stops via new technology and transit management on Routes 59 Rockland and 119 (in lieu of dedicated bus lanes) and on I-287, signal priority and signal upgrades, ramp metering, and queue jump lanes.

Safety concerns along sections of Route 59 were identified using the US DOT’s “Safer People, Safer Streets” initiative via a pedestrian safety audit in Monsey and Spring Valley this past April.

Westhuis cited the Nanuet Park & Ride and upgrades to the Exit 14 Park & Ride facility. “All three lots there need improvement (to ensure) safe pedestrian passage to and from those lots and connect them to the corridor and improve transit access to that lot, in particular the BRT system to come,” he said.

A design is expected by fall, a lighting plan will be submitted by year’s end, and construction will begin next spring. “This lot is a key point identified in a study last year (by ARUP; see Rockland County Times story March 6, 2014), and it’s an area where we saw a high potential,” State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said.

Corridor will have an extensive BRT system in place by 2018./NYS Thruway Authority

Corridor will have an extensive BRT system in place by 2018./NYS Thruway Authority

There will be quicker access to the new transit system in Tarrytown, improvements to its Metro North train station and pick-up points within the village. Discussions with village officials identified the following needs; a contract will be awarded by year’s end to make sure changes are put in place.

“Our assumptions for this implementation are going to be checked against peers with similar programs nationwide,” Westhuis said. “Integrated corridor management (ICM) is a component of the BRT system.”

Total cost for upgrading the system is $159.5 million; each route/increment can be done individually or collectively.

While Tri–State Transportation Campaign Executive Director Veronica Vanterpool approved of initial plans, she’d like to see projected timelines for all routes.

“We made a very strategic decision to break these down into increments,” McDonald replied citing one route/increment — Spring Valley to Tarrytown — is approximately $12.5 million (four new stations and one new vehicle) and another — White Plains to the Bronx via Central Avenue — is $43 million (44 new stations, 15 new vehicles).

“Finding $12 million is generally easier than finding $43 million,” she said.

Capital-CostsUpgrades to transit hub White Plains train station are in two phases; the first is a traffic circulation study, improving temporary station access and pedestrian access, the second is a compete redesign and reconstruction of the station, including the 19 acres of land owned by White Plains for mixed-use development.

Rockland County Legislator Harriet Cornell asked how the new system will be managed and operated. “I’m a great believer in collaboration, but perhaps there needs to be a ‘superpower’ to manage the entire system, not each county individually,” she said.

Vanterpool wants the group to convene regularly; McDonald said the task force had a finite end. “We had policy issues as well as operational and capital issues to discuss. A lot of detail work was done in the past year, and we weren’t ready to discuss where we were at (an earlier) time.”

From the DOT standpoint, she said, “we are committed to updating this group at the right moment in time.”

After the meeting the Rockland County Times spoke with McDonald.

“We’re working with local governments in some instances for this to be successful,” she said when asked about home rule. “Are you willing to give up four or five parking spaces on a route? That’s always a heated discussion.”

How will the new plans change traffic backups on 287 in both counties?

“We’re not just looking at it as BRT in isolation,” McDonald said. “We’re looking at the whole corridor, and that’s why some of these technologies — queue jumping, signal override — will help us to make those adjustments and to make it successful for everybody.”

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times July 2, 2015.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

And . . . It’s . . . Open! Perfect View from Nyack

jump

Nyack officials broke ground last summer (August 7) on a new 90-foot long fishing pier and accessible ramp at Memorial Park, funded via a $150,000 Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization grant.

The viewing platform in Nyack’s Memorial Park is now open!

open

Instead of a continuous height, the railing will be height-adjusted behind the benches, Nyack Village Administrator told the Rockland County Times this summer and on the main deck, portable tables and chairs (box seats), a mix of seating and decking.

benches2

The $400,000 project was financed with $200,000 from the village and matching funds: $150,000 from the Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization grant to build the pier and an ADA-compliant ramp plus a $50,000 grant from the bridge project’s Community Benefits Program.

Tarrytown’s viewing area was completed in July and has a bench plus the three informational panels and two sets of monoculars, funded from a $49,500 grant.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

%d bloggers like this: