Archive for the ‘I Lift NY’ Category

Inside Story of how TZC built the new TZ Bridge

Four years after its first foundational steel piles were driven into the river bed, one span of the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge connecting Westchester and Rockland counties in New York State opened to westbound traffic this past August.

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the twin span, cable-stayed bridge named after his father, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo drove eastbound across the new span with Sleepy Hollow resident and Bronze Star recipient Armando “Chick” Galella in a 1955 Corvette, the same model year Corvette Galella drove with Governor W. Averell Harriman as part of the Tappan Zee Bridge’s December 15, 1955, inaugural procession.

This remarkable transition reflects the tireless efforts of thousands of men and women from Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC), a consortium of some of the world’s best-known and most highly-regarded design, engineering and construction firms.

In October, and weeks ahead of schedule, the Tappan Zee Bridge was retired, and eastbound traffic moved from that bridge to the new span. This allowed the design-build team to begin dismantling the old structure — including the steel and concrete above River Road in Rockland County — and to continue work on the eastbound span, which will open in 2018.

TZC’s first task involved removing the old bridge’s landings, which occupy the same footprint as the second span’s connections to the New York State Thruway. This was accomplished by cutting and dividing sections of steel and concrete into manageable sections, then using barge-based cranes to transport the materials away from the project site.

Transportation barges will carry the materials to ancillary facilities including the Port of Coeymans in Albany County. Many concrete materials and steel trusses will be recycled. More than 130 deck panels units, each approximately 13 feet wide by 50 feet long, will also be given to nearly a dozen state and local municipalities to be repurposed for other bridges and roadways.

Upcoming key operations include lowering of the old bridge’s main span steel cage via hydraulic jacks, and the removal of piles, piers and caissons with foundational material being removed below the bottom of the river. TZC will continue to remove pieces of the old bridge throughout the year, starting from the Rockland and Westchester landings and working toward the middle of the Hudson River.

Work on the new bridge’s eastbound span will continue throughout 2017 and into 2018. Once it opens to traffic, crews will begin building the new bicycle and pedestrian path on the westbound span. Features include six overlooks (resting points), visitor parking and pavilions; and interpretive exhibits, art and signage.

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge features an aesthetic lighting system that accentuates the iconic features of the new bridge, specifically its 419-foot towers, stay cables and concrete piers. TZC conducted numerous lighting tests throughout the year to help confirm the aiming angles of each lighting fixture, which needed to precisely follow the rendering plan set forth by lighting designers.

The project’s Visual Quality Panel, made up of the local community and design professionals, helped TZC develop the lighting plan. TZC prepared for these systems well in advance, installing parts of the utility and systems infrastructure into the steel girder assemblies that were fabricated offsite, reducing the amount of work required over the Hudson River.

Once the steel was safely secured atop the bridge’s concrete piers, TZC electricians began splicing and extending material, tying the bridge utilities into the systems in Rockland and Westchester counties. Utility lines provide electricity for the roadway and aesthetic lighting systems, and will also power the bridge’s structural health monitors, security systems and Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Much like the bridge’s roadway lighting, the aesthetic lighting utilizes energy-efficient light emitting diodes, or LEDs. The project’s LEDs are designed with 100,000-hour lifespans, using an estimated 75 percent less energy compared to traditional lighting technology.

TZC is utilizing modular construction techniques to create large sections of the bridge’s foundations, roadway and superstructure on-land. This allows TZC to safely prepare massive segments of the bridge off-site ahead of time, with some steel sections measuring up to 410 feet in length. Its ability to install these bridge elements is aided by the I Lift NY, whose enormous 328-foot lift arm can lift up to 1,900 tons of material — the equivalent of 12 Statues of Liberty at once.

This extraordinary lifting power, which shortened construction time by months from original estimates and reduce project costs by millions of dollars, will also help dismantle the old Tappan Zee Bridge.

Other innovative equipment includes: TZC’s mobile concrete batch plants that supply the majority of the structure’s concrete directly on the river, self-climbing jump forms that rose along with construction efforts to create the iconic main span towers, protective bubble curtains used to absorb the energy produced during pile driving; and the synchronized jacks used to lower football-field-length foundations into the Hudson River.

TZC is also constructing two buildings in Tarrytown: the Thruway Authority’s new maintenance facility and a new State Police facility. The buildings will improve bridge access for State Police and Thruway personnel responsible for maintenance, operations and security and will also allow emergency crews to quickly respond to vehicle breakdowns on the new bridge.

Crews created a new maintenance dock parallel to the new bridge in South Nyack. The dock will assist the Thruway Authority and emergency vessels near the new bridge.

Intelligent Transportation Systems will improve safety and mobility on the crossing by monitoring roadway conditions and notifying Thruway Authority staff of any disruptions. Motorists will also be informed of accidents and closed lanes through overhead electronic signage, enhancements that have been shown to minimize delays, allowing the public to get the most out of its investment.

The stream of data from the bridge’s sensors will be tracked at the Thruway Authority’s command center through an advanced Structural Health Monitoring System that will measure the twin-span crossing’s structural behavior under traffic and weather conditions. Routine and preventive maintenance work will also be efficiently scheduled with this state-of-the-art system. This vital communication network will make the bridge one of the most technologically advanced crossings in the United States when it opens in 2018.

Submitted by Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) for the December 2017 issue of Rivertown Magazine. Photos courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

Above, below where TZB sections were Removed

My drive had a purpose: view the super crane and the Tappan Zee Bridge minus several sections. I missed the mark yet didn’t have to use my E-ZPass® again (a second attempt) because of this photo.

Aerial view of the new bridge and old bridges/Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/State of New York

Partially obstructed by a tree at RiverWalk, the super crane is poised near the Westchester shoreline, where it’s been removing sections of the Tappan Zee.

Two months ago we drove on steel girders and deck panels atop piers (below).

Worker walking on a pier near the Westchester landing that will soon be dismantled/NYSTA

One of many photos I took last weekend, this depicts a snippet of past, present and future: Tappan Zee piers without girders and concrete deck panels, present new span and two future in-progress piers.

Although it’s exciting to report about the project, seeing this today en route to Westchester was disconcerting to say the least. Update: Project officials posted another view.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Cool views invisible from the Driver’s Seat: completing one Span and removing Another

Painter standing on a girder more than 400 feet long, and no fear of height here./NYSTA

What we can see from the car/SUV — motorcycle riders have the advantage of no window frames — is the new maintenance facility underway near the Westchester landing. What goes on under and next to the bridges are different stories.

Think this person is standing on a pier near the Westcheser landing? You’re right!/NYSTA

Now that River Road is open — and the Tappan Zee Bridge’s abutment is gone — look for cranes near Westchester landing removing sections of TZB steel and concrete. The colossal crane will remove the first of 20 sections now then through next spring, the largest weighing up to 2,600,000-plus pounds.

This scaffolding platform will be under the TZB to help crews during its demolition/NYSTA

The TZB’s decline was so sharp that when mom and dad took us to the country, my younger brother and I were sure we’d drive right into the Hudson River. Not quite. It looks harmless here alongside a barge.

That decline was protected from ice by wooden piles, now collected in this barge /NYSTA

While River Road is open, bridge lanes and an on-ramp will be closed at various times during the week as work continues near the landings. Click here for details.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Super Crane Limbos Again — under Three Spans

There’s something a little different about this photo . . . /EarthCam® construction camera

Have you figured out what’s different about this photo? C’mon, you must have guessed. Here’s another hint from 14 hours earlier in the day.

Now you see it, now you don’t: super crane has moved!/EarthCam® construction camera

The project team kept silent about a certain three-span maneuver (focusing our attention on other doings); your intrepid reporter received a tip.

Back on the southern side 31 months after arriving here/EarthCam® construction camera

No crane in sight, and then it appeared on the other side of the Tappan Zee. Thank you to the source who alerted me yesterday afternoon.

Crane clears the Tappan Zee Bridge/© Janie Rosman 2014

It must have been tricky since the two new spans are considerably higher than the current bridge. You remember the planning involved last time, right? It limboed under the bridge — aided by extra low tide that added an extra foot or two of clearance — two days after its arrival.

With that in mind, the unspoken question on many people’s minds is, “When?”

If the original plans had been followed, then the westbound span would have opened in late 2016: west/northbound traffic was to have moved to the new span in December, and two months later, in February 2017, east/southbound traffic was to have moved to that span.

Hmm.

I recall hearing the bridge builder has incentives for completing the full bridge and all its accents by March/April 2018, and there would be penalties “if the Thruway Authority isn’t handed the keys to the new bridge by that date or if it’s completed even one day later.”

Said by a source working on the project. Were these guidelines abandoned?

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Spring has Sprung: Nyack Buzzing with Activity

It was perfect weather to be outside Sunday, and Memorial Park in Nyack was packed with cars. We sat for a while under a tree — as luck would have it, there was a spot waiting for us — and took in the view.

This after checking out the Nyack Street Fair, always a fun experience.

That day marked five weeks since I was walking down steps and missed the step, falling and injuring my left knee and upper leg. Walking has become easier with cortisone shots, and I’ll be starting physical therapy next week. It was gorgeous outside, and I didn’t want to miss the day.

Birds flying everywhere, crowded viewing area, people enjoying the weather and checking out the bridge and the Spotter’s Guide and happy winter finally left. The giant crane was positioned near the Rockland shoreline, and people were taking pictures with their cell phones.

So when will the westbound span open? The summer before the project began, then state DOT Project Director Michael Anderson said traffic will switch to the new bridge sometime during the fourth year (2017).

Then we heard west/northbound traffic would move to the new span in December 2016, and two months later (February 2017) to move east/southbound traffic as well. Former Executive Director Robert L. Megna decided in early November to postpone the first opening until spring 2017.

Project officials are talking about “sometime this year.” I wonder if there are still built-in contract incentives for finishing the project before spring 2018 or penalties for completing it later? Is the bridge builder still on a 62-month schedule?

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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