Archive for the ‘Rockland County’ Category

ICMYI: 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

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

Schools were closed when the new bridge opened

The Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge opened Dec. 1955/The Virtual Archives

Besides having a clear day for the Historical Society of Rockland County’s river tour last week, I had the pleasure of sitting at a table with several people who are working on the new bridge.

They preferred I not mention their names. I agreed to respect their privacy and asked about their responsibilities and how they felt about working on the project and seeing it from this perspective.

One gentleman told me his father was an ironworker on the original Tappan Zee Bridge and said his son and grandsons are employed on the current project. “Four generations working on the bridge,” he smiled.

He lived in Piermont in 1955 and remembers walking across the new structure when it opened. “The governor drove across the bridge, and I didn’t have to go to school that day. Everybody was walking across the new bridge, and schools were closed.”

Detailed bridge update and photos are in this week’s Rockland County Times.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Exit to Exit: a Whole Lotta Traffic In-between

You can see traffic slogging along westbound per EarthCam® camera at Westch. landing

Memorial Day Weekend. The. Westbound. Span. Should. Have. Been. Opened.

Woulda, shoulda, coulda says nothing about the fact that it hasn’t and isn’t.

During a late afternoon drove to Rockland for copies of this week’s Rockland County Times, which has my story about a woman who advocates for senior housing and safety at home, I got stuck in traffic.

I’m home waiting for a FedEx delivery that requires a signature so I’ll tell you about yesterday’s driving experience.

Silly me. It’s a holiday weekend, and the vehicular madness was well underway by the time I merged onto crowded, no, packed, 287 from the Sprain. Inching from Exit 2 to Exit 1 was a challenge; once on the Thruway, it took about 20 minutes to drive from Exit 9 (Tarrytown) to Exit 10 (South Nyack).

I miss Ramp E, the South Broadway (Route 9) entrance ramp to the bridge in Tarrytown. I really miss it when I’m in that area and have to travel west as its absence continues to cause traffic nightmares.

In its place the state is building a new facility, which drivers and I saw from the other side:

It’s ironic that the new bridge will change nothing about congestion choking 287 on its own and as arteries, like Westchester Avenue and the Sprain, merge onto it. This new bridge will offer cars and trucks — they NEED to be in their own lane! — an easy, breezy 3.1 miles of travel until bridge meets land, and the madness continues in Rockland.

What gives? The westbound span was set to open last December 2016, then in early 2017. Somewhere, sometime, project officials starting saying the bridge, shared use path (including in South Nyack), maintenance facility and new state police barracks will open in 2018.

When the super crane arrived at the project site in October 2014, Governor Cuomo held a press conference and was asked about potential tolls.

“We don’t know how much we will we get from the federal government, how much we will get from the state; there are state loans and grants we can access,” he said, citing the variables. Additional unknowns are the built-in contract incentives for Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) to finish the project before spring 2018 or penalties for completing it later.

Spring 2018 is 12 months from now, which is nearly summer if you consider it’s Memorial Day Weekend and an unofficial start of summer.

So crews need to finish the whole shebang before June 21, 2018, the real start of summer. Will the bridge builder be penalized for finishing the project one day later? Stay tuned.

It’s too bad New York State made this into a bridge project instead of sticking to a corridor project. The 287 construction was finished nine months ahead of schedule, and I’m sure (though I don’t remember) traffic “flowing smoothly” four or five years ago.

Several people working on the project told me it would be impossible to widen 287. What was the point of building a bridge between two congested highways without considering the motorists who use them?

I covered the Mass Transit Task Force meetings, where this exchange took place during the final get-together:

“Who will take the initiative to make sure the recommendations will move forward?” State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (88th District) asked. State DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald replied, “Our charge was to make recommendations. It’s up to the governor and the Thruway Authority to see what are the next steps.”

The governor said on January 29, 2013 — 11 days after the bridge builder received the A-OK to begin — that completion of 287’s reconstruction and the bridge project represent how his administration cut through government dysfunction. It’s all well and good to have plans; however, as my mom’s cousin Helen used to say, “You have to look down the road a piece.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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