Archive for the ‘Tappan Zee Bridge’ Category

Road Trip includes Glimpses of NNYB Progress

What’s a trip north without checking out the replacement for the bridge I shall miss? Yes, I admit it. Since it was Sunday, and there was no traffic, I had a chance to see foundations for the new maintenance facility at the Westchester landing. Did I mention there was no traffic?

I also got another look at the scaffolding climbed by one adventurous project official. Remember, the stairs begin above the crossover bridge and are outside one of the 419-foot tall main span towers. Click the photo enlarge it, and then click the magnifier for an up-close view of what it’s like to climb up the tower.

Cloudy skies on the way were foreboding and very different from a similar trip last April; they made a pretty picture, almost like a painting on canvas. While the day was overcast, last weekend’s skies were clear and beautiful when Flying Films NY traveled to the project site for these aerial views.

Stay safe this Memorial Day and remember to show gratitude and be thankful.

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

New Falcon Chicks are Nameless No More

The cuties smiling for the New York State Thruway Authority have names!

More than 2,000 people voted to name the new chicks Puente, suggested by Claremont Elementary School in Ossining, and Tarrytalon, suggested by 2nd graders at Concord Road Elementary School in Ardsley.

Congratulations to all who participated!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Boater Safety Rules for the Bridge Project Site

You know boating near the project site is restricted and dangerous, right? Not watch-out-for-sharks dangerous yet close to it. (Pity the kayaker above!)

From the New NY Bridge website:

• Stay clear of all overhead work and maintain a safe distance of 1,000 feet from all construction equipment and support vessels.

• Use the center 600 feet of the Main Channel (when available) to navigate in a north-south direction with no wake at a maximum speed of five knots.

• All bridge piers and abutments are protected by a 25-yard security zone.

• No unauthorized vessels are allowed in the Safety Zone surrounding 16 construction barge mooring locations. Lighted buoys mark the zone and mooring locations.

• Regulated Navigation Areas (RNAs) stretch 500 yards north and 500 yards south of the existing bridge. No vessel may stop, moor, anchor or loiter within the RNAs.

• The Eastern RNA will be extremely active and vessels transitioning to and from the eastern shoreline at Tarrytown should approach and depart to the north. The Western RNA will be impassable at times and mariners should stay clear of the area.

• Lighted channel markers provide recreational boater access to the Piermont waterfront.

• Construction barges and other vessels on the site are being tracked by GPS technology.

• TZC will monitor Marine Radio Channel 16 to communicate with boaters.

The New York State Thruway Authority provides this information as a public service. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Nothing in these guidelines shall supersede the actual construction conditions, and regulations set forth by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Watch out for fins in the water! I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Spectacular view from There: on top of a Tower

You know the radio station whose broadcasting promo says it’s from the top top top top top top top of the Empire State Building? While scaffolding is still in place, one project official also went to the top: of one tower.

He rode an elevator to its 280-foot view (crossover bridge) and then walked steps on the outside of that tower to its tippy-top. Photos courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

Whoosh! Here’s his magnificent view from high above the Hudson Valley:

Facing north: one of the new main span towers high above the Hudson River/© H. Jackson

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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