Archive for October, 2017|Monthly archive page

Artistic Installations gather at Scarecrow Invasion

As I drove past this friendly group yesterday, I heard the introduction to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in my head. What a fantabulous line dance team it would be!

This lovely lady greeted me as she hung from one of the trees, floating gracefully in the breeze. And it was breezy! Kinda neat that the wind added to the atmosphere around 3:30 p.m. yesterday at Lyndhurst’s Scarecrow Invasion.

Met a powerful-looking figure who’s really very tame and friendly. A sign on one of his legs says high voltage and for authorized personnel only. The visible sign reminds all to drive slowly on the grounds and when driving past road work.

From its perch, this bird was deep in thought as it watched visitors walking by.

So much to see at this annual creative culmination of time, care and imagination.

Despite a danger warning, the friendly worker above didn’t object when your intrepid reporter posed for a photo next to him. Scarecrow Invasion is open at night starting October 19 through 31. Maybe some figures or their parts light up in the dark? Will be cool to see at night. Boo!

NOTE: If you visit the property after dusk to see the outdoor exhibit, then you will be directed to park on a flat level a good hike from the main drive.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Observations about New Bridge’s Eastbound Ride

Partly sunny weather was perfect for checking out the new eastbound ride. I was Rockland-bound to pick up copies of the October issue of Rivertown Magazine. (My story about haunted places in the county begins on page 46.) Despite posted signs, so many cars and trucks whizzed by!

As my focus was the eastbound ride — until last Friday, the westbound span was open to single-direction traffic — I enjoyed the familiar view and started to count the vehicles passing me.

On the way back, I saw signs on South Broadway in South Nyack telling drivers River Road is closed and to use 9W South. Eastbound drivers are redirected from the former to the new approach span.

It’s a little disconcerting to see the gantries facing the other way. Each has one overhead message telling trucks and trailers not to use the left lane. A 45-miles-per-hour speed limit sign is posted on their poles as well.

It was only natural to look over at the Tappan Zee Bridge. Once I neared the new span’s Westchester landing, I saw in the distance construction crews and a faint cloud of dust at the TZB’s landing as the removal process begins.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

A Look Back at Turn-of-the-Century Bridge Plans

Originally scheduled for print publication, this story was cut due to lack of space. Photos from when the Tappan Zee Bridge was built are courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

Forty-one months ago and with the recently-closed Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge as his backdrop, President Barack Obama spoke about his transportation bill, announcing a new infrastructure plan that included fast-tracking the bridge replacement project.

“At times you can see the river through the cracks of the pavement,” Obama had commented about it. “Now, I’m not an engineer, but I figure that’s not good.

* * * * *

The idea to build a bridge across one of the widest points in the Hudson River began as early as 1905 with a bridge (railroad) Piermont to Hastings. Calls continued for the next 20 or so years.

Craig Long, historian for Rockland County, the villages of Montebello and Suffern and the Town of Ramapo, recalled Pearl River resident and state assemblyman Fred Horn — nicknamed “Father of the Bridge” — proposed a bill in 1930 for a bridge from Piermont to Hastings with Hook Mountain and Rockland Lake as other locations.

During the next two years, Horn proposed that idea and a bridge/tunnel from Snedens Landing to Dobb’s Ferry; however, the site was within the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s 25-mile jurisdiction. Those ideas failed as did Horn when he ran for re-election.

Long said via email that in 1935, the Rockland Causeway-Tunnel Authority was created with a drive to bridge the Hudson from Nyack to Tarrytown. “As studies begin, no determination is made as to whether Upper Nyack, Nyack, or South Nyack will be the bridge’s terminus. In August of that year, it is central Nyack; by October it is South Nyack, Voorhis Point.”

The following March (1936) Grand View was chosen as a potential landing site; by August the War Department approved it and Tarrytown on the Westchester side. While Hook Mountain again a choice the northern location didn’t sit well with Zoning Commissioner Elmer Hader, who gained support for nixing the idea, or with residents.

“This is the beauty spot of the Hudson Valley, which should not be destroyed by a bridge,” Zoning Commissioner Elmer Hader protested. New York State governor Thomas E. Dewey, and local legislators, received hundreds of telegrams and letters protesting the proposed 3.25-mile crossing, according to an editorial in The New York Times said.

South Nyack’s business district and Tarrytown riverfront estates were sacrificed and paved the way for this Hudson Valley crossing more than 60 years ago that lasted beyond its time. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute alumnus Emil H. Pager of Madigan-Hyland designed the $81 million Bridge for a 50-year service life that resulted in a utilitarian appearance, RPI Professor Michael Symons noted.

Foundation piers and steel false work were constructed near Haverstraw at Grassy Point. Rive water was dammed off to lower its level, and when the piers were completed, the dams were broken to release the water. Those newly-constructed sections were then towed downriver to the project site.

Ten days before Christmas 1955, the new bridge opened to traffic, connecting I-87 northbound from New York City to Albany, and later connecting to I-287 (Cross Westchester Expressway). Legislation signed by Governor W. Averell Harriman on February 28, 1956, officially named it the Tappan Zee Bridge to honor the Tappan Indians of the Lenape tribe and Zee for “sea” in Dutch.

Twelve-year-old Paul Anderson surprised everyone at the ribbon-cutting ceremony — including Nyack resident and actress Helen Hayes MacArthur, Thruway Authority Chairman Bertram D. Tallamy, and other dignitaries — by walking across the bridge, earning him a ride in the governor’s black Cadillac.

In 1994, the structure was rededicated and renamed when Governor Malcolm Wilson’s name was added on the 20th anniversary of his leaving the governor’s office.

A 27-mile stretch of Thruway from Suffern to Yonkers opened only 18 months after the first cars drove on the thruway upstate. Not what you’d expect four days after opening was a major traffic accident when four cars traveling from Rockland to Westchester at dusk bumped into each other.

The bridge was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (under Criteria A and C in Appendix D – Preliminary Section 106 and 4(f) Analysis for Tappan Zee Bridge). The purportedly-100-year-old wood barge and its coal cargo submerged below – reminiscent of the river’s role in industry and commerce, and in the construction zone – were also recommended for the same prestigious award.

Coincidentally, March 1952 marked the start of construction, and 60 years later (March 2012) came a Request for Proposal (RFP) for its replacement — the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge — whose westbound span recently opened. As eastbound traffic was moved to that span ahead of schedule, crews can begin dismantling the Tappan Zee Bridge so the new bridge’s eastbound span can be completed.

Photos are courtesy of The Virtual Archives and the New York State Thruway Authority.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

For Old Times’ Sake: Last Look at Familiar Views

Now that I won’t see the bridge from these views again, what’s left to do? Look at pictures. Here are some at various times of day and in different weather. This was taken a sunny afternoon in August and was used in a Tweet.

Trucking through a snowstorm on the Tappan Zee Bridge (not the same day) /© Wn.com

I wrote a blog post about coming out of a school board meeting in early January some years ago to discover it was snowing heavily. Because I knew the Thruway would have trucks clearing the snow (and other trucks’ tires clearing a path), I drove north to Tarrytown and felt better once I was on I-87 and then on I-287.

While I don’t recall when I took this, it must have been during the past month or two. Happened to look up at the clouds and took advantage of the beautiful day and a cellphone camera.

This photo courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority is from Friday night as the last cars were heading eastbound on the Tappan Zee before it was closed.

Checking out the new eastbound ride this week. I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

TZB’s Final Curtain Call & a New Eastbound Ride

A mysterious driver was the last car across the 3.1-mile span last night honking what sounded like an ooga horn. Photos courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

My last ride across the Tappan Zee Bridge was about 70 minutes earlier. As with the westbound trip, I had to drive it one last time. OK, I drove westbound twice. Just because.

My friend, photographer and writer Frank LoBuono, drove eastbound on the new span earlier today and shared his descriptive observations and thoughts.  You can ride along with him and cross the river vicariously here.

Were you on the Tappan Zee last night near the time of its final curtain call?

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

 

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