Archive for June, 2016|Monthly archive page

In Plain Sight: Batch Plant a Mystery No More

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

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

Every now and again I receive a notice that a floating concrete batch plant is available and ready for shipping. Am I interested? the email asks.

It’s been 18 months since the accident that necessitated Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) to shut down one floating concrete batch plants a few months into its duties. Why did it shut down the second?

Last December, one year after that accident, the governor ruled on Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). His office reviewed each project-related FOIL request with a fine-tooth comb, sources told me as the FOIL request hit snags that were more like stone walls.

I figure this is why it took so long to find out what happened after the first plant collapsed yet both plants were shut down. I’d surmised they were built similarly, and the bridge builder knew there was a chance the second batch plant might collapse, too.

Back then I asked: Would it have been a matter of time before an identical malfunction occurred in that second batch plant although both were prepped, inspected and tested identically?

A project source told me: yes, the second plant would have malfunctioned.

What the agency gave me was five internal emails from TZC stating an incident happened, and no one was hurt. Thankfully. My FOIL request ended with a project official calling me “to tidy things up,” after which the Thruway Authority’s legal department told me it considered the matter closed.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

Gusty Winds, Snapping Cameras and Reminiscing

old and new bridgesDespite traffic on 9W north I arrived at the Haverstraw Marina with minutes to spare, and that’s no joke. As I walked to the line for boarding the River Rose I met a Pennsylvania native who’s called Rockland home for more than half a century, and her friend Pat Kennedy.

“I’d like to see it up-close and personal,” Kennedy said as we walked along the path to her first tour. The wind gusts kicked up, and she checked to make sure the hat tied under her chin was secure.

It was also Catherine Wolf’s first tour. “I grew up near the river and wanted to see the project,” she said, remembering when crews built the first Tappan Zee.

piers and cranesNo sooner had we learned about Henry Hudson and his ship, the Half Moon, the first time Haverstraw appeared on a map (1616) and other historic points than Sanders told us the weather ceased in-river work and project officials would stay safely on land.

We continued south to the project site.

“That’s very cool! Look at that,” one woman next to me said as we neared the towers. Because of the wind we — and other passengers — held onto the rail tightly.

“I came down every day to see the bridge being built,” Wolf recalled. “I was in high school and lived in Stony Point.”

crane and towersKaren Harris of Stony Point was eager to see the project and remembered watching the Tappan Zee’s construction. “We’d go up to Grassy Point and watch parts floating down the river,” she said.

While she’d taken the River Rose north to Poughkeepsie, Harris said it was her first time on the Tappan Zee tour. Accompanying her were her brother Thomas Welsh from Morristown, and sister in-law Beata Welsh and brother-in-law David Phillips, both from Chicago.

“We grew up on the river.” Beata Welsh said, “and our connection to the river is deeper than any place else.” We come every year,” Phillips said.

Days later Harris continued marveling about the tour. “I’ve told so many people they should try it. We had a wonderful time.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

Today: Getting a Close Look at the Bridge Project

old and newWhile wind made the Hudson misbehave — making it too dangerous for project officials to board the River Rose amid choppy waves — we had a rare as-close-as-you-can-get opportunity to see the bridge project while the stern-wheeler traveled through the main span channel and back.

Today. Was. Amazing. Big thank-you to the Historical Society of Rockland County for an educational and fun tour on a less-than-kind river, to project officials and to the River Rose staff. Whoosh! Those towers are big!

workers on main span towers - close-upAs we neared the construction area one woman pointed to a TZC boat that was moving about in the water. The Hudson River was active today for sure.

I met people from Chicago, New Jersey, West Nyack and beyond. Because of the weather project officials decided to cease in-river work.

After the boat turned around on the bridge’s south side and began heading north I noticed some workers on one of the main span crossbeams. It looked like they were reaching for a part that was being lowered, and I thought, “What a great photo op!”

main span towersIt was so cool to see the project from the river, to see the towers and blue jump forms I sneak peeks at while driving, to wonder what they look like up close.

As I’d missed the boat tour during National Safety Week, when the bridge builder received praise for its safety record and practices, this was exciting for me. Can you tell?

Stay tuned for more about the day and, of course, photos.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

Tappan Zee Experience, Historical Tour Tomorrow

I’m looking forward to the Historical Society of Rockland County’s popular and sold-out tour, The Tappan Zee Experience: Past, Present and Future,” tomorrow.

Guests will again board the stern-wheeler River Rose for a day of fun and learning about Westchester’s and Rockland’s history.

main span

Here’s a photo I snapped of the main span last June during a similar tour. The photo below next to new towers is courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority.

main span - NYSTA photo

It’s been more than one year since I was on the river and can’t wait to see how the project progressed since the super crane’s first assignment last April.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

Note: Toll Plaza Gone; Four Lanes Open to Traffic

Nyack viewing area
♪♫ Saturday in the park I think it was the Fourth of July. . . ♪♫

It was a holiday weekend (although not the Fourth), and Memorial Park in Nyack was bustling with the start of summer; people were sitting under trees and in chairs on the lazy afternoon. I hadn’t seen the skate park yet and watched as five teenagers practiced their skateboarding skills.

ducks

Something else I didn’t see was the toll plaza, now part of the bridge’s past. I’m sure you noticed only four lanes on the right are open, and if you’re taking Exit 9 in Tarrytown, then it’s best to stay in the far right lane.

“Motorists taking the southbound exit 9 off-ramp are advised to stay in the right lane, as there will be little time to merge from the left at highway speeds,” a recent press release said.

They’re not kidding. Drivers who want to take 287 will need to stay in the far left lane until they can pick up 287 past the barricade. Last weekend there were cars crossing lanes when to reach to reach the exit/direction they wanted.

More new news: next week starts construction of the new maintenance facility.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

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