Archive for the ‘Tarrytown’ 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

Now and Then and a Changing Hudson Valley

kids-at-viewing-area

This year the first span opens, and the Hudson Valley will again change. I love this photo of the kids looking at the construction and see it symbolizing the future, their future, as the figure below imagined his future years before.

Craig Long, historian for the Villages of Suffern and Montebello and the Town of Ramapo, discussed previous ideas for a Hudson River crossing last summer.

Courtesy of the Westchester County Archives

Courtesy of the Westchester County Archives

I focused on his narrative about Nanuet Assemblyman Fred Horn, the “Father of the Bridge,” who rallied for one-quarter century for such a project.

Long said a bridge (railroad) was proposed from Piermont to Hastings as early 1905 with calls continuing for the next 20 or so years. It gained traction, he said, when Horn took office, proposing 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 a bridge, then a bridge/tunnel from Snedens Landing to Dobb’s Ferry.

Here’s where the sparks begin to fly.

thenGood idea except the proposed site was within the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s 25-mile jurisdiction, and it would need to approve, and then, operate the project. The proposals failed as did Horn when he ran for re-election.

“In 1935, the Rockland Causeway-Tunnel Authority was created with a drive to bridge the Hudson from Nyack to Tarrytown,” Long said in an email. “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.

tzb-signThe 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.

Long wrote, “In October of that year, the Journal News took a straw poll on the idea of a Hudson River crossing and where it should be located” with an unscientific tally of 792 in favor and 405 opposed. Grand View was the favored location 391 votes (not residents). Results from boring led the state to abandon the project one month later. Last fall marked 80 years since that straw poll.

Photos courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Trio of Traffic Events Starting Tonight at 9 p.m.

Today’s the last day for using E-ZPass® and cash lanes at the Tarrytown toll plaza. Photos courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority.

Before that happens three southbound lanes between Exits 10 and 9 will close — two at 9 p.m., one at midnight — and will reopen tomorrow at 8 a.m.

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Three toll plaza lanes will be open from 11 p.m. to midnight; speed is limited to 20 miles per hour. After midnight — and when the last fare has been paid in Tarrytown — the electronic gantry will be activated.

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So . . . if you’re driving to Westchester and clear the gantry seconds before midnight, then yours may be one of the last vehicles to drive through the toll plaza. Speed remains 20 mph.

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Drivers will have five more lanes to use after 6 a.m. at the same speed. It’s 35 mph for the two left lanes until May, when the next construction phase begins.

The Exit 10 on-ramp in South Nyack will close at 10 p.m. and will reopen tomorrow at 5 a.m. Additionally, traffic between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. from Exit 11 to the bridge will be stopped from time to time.

detour

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

Across the River: Talk of Fares, No Bridge-park

Another familiar view has changed: approach to bridge’s main span/© Janie Rosman 2016

Another familiar view has changed: approach to bridge’s main span/© Janie Rosman 2016

It happened today. I told you I would do it, and I did.

This afternoon a friend and I spent the afternoon shopping/browsing. She hadn’t crossed the bridge in a while and neither had I so that was that.

People living at the Quay in Tarrytown might not have been happy with how close the I Lift NY was to their windows — I figure it was close to them since it loomed near the Westchester side — yet we got a great view on the way to Rockland. Coming back was even better since the super crane was facing the roadway.

Everyone I meet talks about the bridge! We were in a department store looking at Mother’s Day gifts, and I remarked it has a different layout from the same one I shop at in Westchester.

“I take the bridge to college in White Plains three times a week,” the young lady behind the counter said, and the conversation was off and running. She was happy the TAPPAN ZEExpress was a good price and said it was fun to see how much progress has been made on the new bridge.

Only a few days remain until the electronic toll gantry is activated/© Janie Rosman 2016

Only a few days remain until the electronic toll gantry is activated/© Janie Rosman 2016

“Are they going to keep the old bridge so we can have that park and walk across?” she asked.

I told her about the walking path on the new bridge and said the current bridge will be taken down so the new one can be finished and can connect to the highway. “No floating bridge-park,” I said.

We talked for a few more minutes, and my friend said she was glad there won’t be any toll increases for a few years.

“As long as my bus fare stays the same,” the college student said.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

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