Archive for August, 2017|Monthly archive page

ICYMI: Link to Opening Ceremony for New Span

Here is one of the stories you’ve been waiting for with photos from last week’s opening ceremony. The above traffic pattern remains in effect until eastbound traffic moves to the new span within a few months.

What you can’t see (and I won’t show) are blisters I got from walking around in socks and steel-toed shoes for four hours. Would I do it again? YES!

More details and photos of the new span in this week’s Rockland County Times.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Following Ceremony, New Westbound Span Opens

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Our air-conditioned bus turned into the former Ramp E Thruway entrance and headed toward the new Tappan Zee Bridge to celebrate the opening of its new westbound span.

En route, we learned where the shared use path for the Hudson Valley’s first cable-stayed bridge would begin near the Westchester landing. A tunnel underneath that side of the bridge would allow access from the Thruway Authority’s new maintenance facility on the north side of the roadway to new barracks for New York State Police Troop T on the south side.

The path will be built in the right lane of the roadway (currently used for traffic), and sound barriers will prevent noise from local neighborhoods. Parking for the path, which will begin after the bridge is fully open in both directions, will be at the maintenance facility (Tarrytown) and within the Exit 10 Interchange in South Nyack.

“See those stripings there? That’s where traffic will shift to the new bridge,” Thruway Authority Director of Communications Jennifer Givner said. “And now you are driving on the new bridge.” Whistles and cheers erupted in our bus.

Unlike its December appearance — blue steel jump forms atop main span towers, that span not yet connected to approach spans, roadway and other components incomplete — the new westbound span was ready for its August 25 debut.

The traffic shift was to have started around 9 p.m., depending upon traffic volume, Givner said. “See the acrylic wall here? That will be the shared use path.” You can see the white stripe that we’re driving on. That’s where the barrier will be that will separate the shared use path.”

Translucent panels atop the acrylic wall were chosen for the privacy or residents whose windows face the path. Further on was the suicide preventive, anti-climb tensile mesh fencing crews installed this spring that will line both sides of both spans and the path.

“You see the Jersey barrier that has reflective tape on it,” she said, pointing what will separate the westbound traffic from opposite-direction lanes. “Two to three months from now, we’re going to add the eastbound traffic.”

The $3.9 billion, 3.1-mile twin-spanned structure has eight general traffic lanes and will have four breakdown and emergency lanes, a bicycle and walking path with six viewing areas; cashless tolling and space for bus rapid transit and commuter rail. Energy-efficient LED lighting is on the towers, on stanchions (columns) to light the roadway and under the roadway to light the piers.

More than 110,000 tons of all-American steel is used in construction, and approximately 7,000 people have contributed to date, totaling nearly nine million work hours.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Governor Andrew Cuomo cited the state’s projects — a new airport at LaGuardia, a new John F. Kennedy Airport, a new second and third track on the Long Island Railroad, a new Moynihan Train Hall “so you never have to go in that pit called Penn Station again” among others — and said New York’s mojo and confidence have returned.

Sleepy Hollow resident and Bronze Star recipient Armando “Chick” Galella was working at Frank Chevrolet in Sleepy Hollow, when then-Governor W. Averell Harriman asked for a 1955 Corvette for the “new” bridge’s opening. Galella drove with the governor across the span as part of the bridge’s December 15, 1955, inaugural process.

Following the event, he and Cuomo rode toward the Westchester approach span in a pale yellow 1955 Corvette, the same model year Corvette as the one Galella rode in 62 years earlier.

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times August 28, 2017.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

Friday Night Traffic Switch: Four Lanes E and W

How did the Thruway Authority switch westbound traffic from the Tappan Zee Bridge to the westbound span of the new bridge Friday night? Here’s how.

Four lanes of traffic on the new westbound span and four lanes of traffic on the current bridge (see above) will continue through the fall, when eastbound traffic will shift to the new westbound.

Watch for detailed stories in next week’s issue of the Rockland County Times.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Westbound Span: Lane Switches and New Ride

With its main span towers and piers lit in lavender, the new bridge looked pretty against the oncoming night sky. I kept thinking, “Purple reigns on the Hudson Valley” (photo courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority) as I crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge westbound for the last time last night.

Traffic was steady, the silence interrupted by sirens wailing. Only when I re-entered the Thruway from South Nyack did I see flashing red-and-blue lights with a state trooper and a car in the far left lane at the point where the left lane ends.

Hopefully, no one was hurt, I told the Thruway Authority worker standing at the Route 119 on-ramp in Tarrytown shortly before 9 p.m. He was there to supervise the barricade process. Numerous drivers stopped to ask why the entrance was closed and wanted to turn right from Route 119 despite notices from the Thruway Authority during the past week.

The next day . . .

Awesome ride on the new bridge: no thumpity-thump noises or any noises and a smooth roadway to South Nyack. A few vehicles crossed over the white line despite safety warnings: there are no grids or raised metal in the road to tell them when their tires cross that line.

Included are unobstructed views of the Hudson River and the eastbound span.

Watch for detailed stories in next week’s issue of the Rockland County Times.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Prepare for Traffic Shifts, Detours Friday P.M. to Saturday A.M. when New Westbound Span Opens

Aerial view of the Westchester landing, courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority, shows where traffic will be shifted to the new bridge this Friday night.

Per the Thruway Authority:

While multiple lane closures will begin sometime after 9 p.m. Friday, you can still drive from Westchester to Rockland via at least one lane except when stopped by state police. That won’t happen until early Saturday morning: those of you coming home from work or a night out, be advised.

That night at approximately 9 p.m., the Thruway on-ramp at Route 119 (at Exit 9) will close until Saturday at 6 a.m. Northbound drivers can still use that exit’s off-ramp.

There will be detour routes to direct drivers.

My suggestion if you’re already in Tarrytown or Sleepy Hollow:

Take Benedict Avenue at South Broadway through to Route 119/White Plains Road in Greenburgh. Turn left at the light, and continue to I-87/I-287 north/west (sign is on the left).

As well, Exit 10 (South Nyack) southbound on-ramp will close at 9 p.m. and will reopen by 6 a.m. Saturday. Here’s the detour route:

“Between midnight and 5 a.m. Saturday, there will be two traffic stops, each lasting up to 20 minutes, of all four lanes of the northbound/westbound Thruway. The traffic stops will allow Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors workers to stage operations, stripe lanes at both ends of the bridge and shift barriers and equipment.

To ensure the public’s safety, State Police will stop and hold all traffic. The first traffic stop will take place near Exit 9 in Tarrytown. A second traffic stop will occur a few hours later near Exit 10 in South Nyack.”

Come 8 a.m. Saturday, there will be four lanes of traffic on the new westbound span and four lanes of traffic on the current bridge. Eastbound traffic will shift to the new westbound span this fall.

One pet peeve is drivers who do NOT stay within the solid white lines. This is an active construction site, folks; safety rules are in place and strictly enforced for motorists. That means stay within the 45 miles-per-hour speed limit and do not cross a solid white line, which is solid for a reason.

The Thruway Authority’s press release about the overnight traffic shift is here.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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