Archive for the ‘Rockland County’ Category

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

Naming Contest for Soon-to-Arrive Falcon Chicks

Word has it that little eyases will be hatched & need names/Photo courtesy of EarthCam®

One of the fascinating parts of covering this project includes writing about what makes this bridge different from the others: its resident falcons.

Jacob Tanenbaum’s 3rd-grade class at Cottage Lane Elementary School in Blauvelt is studying climate change that includes a discussion about what they can do to lessen the problem. Peregrine falcons — like those living atop the Tappan Zee Bridge — were among raptors affected by the pesticide DDT 50 and 60 years ago.

“Talking about how we stopped using DDT gives the kids hope that they can effect change in the future,” Tanenbaum emphasized.

This will be the last year mama falcon hatches her eyases (chicks) on the current bridge. She’s due soon and will hatch next season’s eggs on one of the westbound span’s towers.

Thus, the project team — keeping keen eyes on all that happens, including high above the river in a nest box on the Tappan Zee Bridge — said it’s time for another falcon naming contest!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

TBT: Looking Back at Earlier Project Photos

What are those things floating in the river? Debris? No, those are piles, and the story that day (June 2014 media tour) was pile cleansing: scooping out the muck prior to filling them with concrete and rebar (reinforced steel).

Did you notice the super crane is on the south side of the bridge? It had recently arrived at the project site, where crews waited for low tide a few days later before limbo-ing it under the current bridge.

Blue jump forms will help build the main span’s 419-foot towers./Photo: NYSTA

Oh my, how tiny it looks at ground level. This is from early September 2015, when crews began building those now-419-foot tall towers using self-climbing jump forms. Are those cartoon heads in the red truck?

Here’s a memory from days gone by, when tolls were 50 cents each way. One-way collection was adopted August 12, 1970, and toll booths on the northbound lanes were removed.

And guess what? We made it through the Ides of March. Ha!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Counting down to the westbound span opening

new-and-old

Early yesterday I had part of the bridge — from the Westchester approach until the start of the main span — to myself. NO cars, trucks, vans, nothing. So I slowed a little bit (making sure no one was behind me) and snapped.

If the bridge could talk, then here’s what it would say:

Yesterday I felt tired and a little sad. I mean, wouldn’t you? Imagine watching them train your replacement at work because they’re letting you go: I’m only here until they finish the first span.

There are others my age and older who are around longer than I — the Bear Mountain Bridge (1924), the Mid-Hudson Bridge (1930) and the Rip Van Winkle Bridge (1935) come to mind — yet they’re replacing me.

True, I’m a three-miler; however, think about it. Was this the best place to build me? Some think not — the topic lends itself to controversy — yet here they chose.

main-span

The new bridge next to me is much taller than I am, which doesn’t diminish me. I have history here and stories to tell, and I bet you didn’t know I’ve kept secrets, too. Even with four lanes in each direction it’ll be a not-so-nice surprise when people realize there will still be three highway lanes leading to and from in Rockland. We’ll see how they plan for traffic in Westchester.

It also means positive changes to both counties, especially to South Nyack, and parts of me will be used for other construction projects.

When you drive across my span I know you’re staring at the new bridge. I don’t blame you; I watch its progress every day. Even though they’ll take me apart this year I know your memories of me will stay long after I’m gone.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Throwback Thursday: Four Years Earlier . . .

Spring after the project started: “Figure Sitting at RiverWalk Park”/© Janie Rosman 2013

Spring after the project started: “Figure Sitting at RiverWalk Park”/© Janie Rosman 2013

Tomorrow’s presidential inauguration has been the focus of media coverage and attention nationwide and around the world: a new leader will be sworn into office, a testament to our democracy.

Today for Throwback Thursday I’m noting the anniversary of another event: four years ago yesterday NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli approved the contract with Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge. At the time it was called the Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing Project.

Crews began pre-construction work two months later.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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