Archive for the ‘Tarrytown’ Category

New York State Prepared to & Did Bridge a Gap*

One of my favorite photos from that day: two members of the construction team watch the crowds prior to the opening ceremony for the new bridge’s westbound span. It was a hot August day, and dad’s golf hat was my lucky charm.

Westbound traffic moved to that span the following night. The Tappan Zee was our eastbound ride for the next six weeks, and then — with slightly less fanfare than its earlier transition — eastbound traffic moved to the new span.

One driver’s wish came true: he was the last ride on the Tappan Zee Bridge, and we had a new eastbound ride. In early November, its first section was removed.

Less of the Tappan Zee now as sections of it are removed to be repurposed per a Thruway Authority board decision in July. Crews continue building the eastbound span and — near the Westchester landing — the new maintenance facility, new building for state police south of the Thruway and the walking and bicycle path.

With its main span towers and piers lit in lavender, the new bridge looked pretty against the oncoming late August 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.

How many of you will remember 2017 as the year the Tappan Zee Bridge closed to traffic? Since last December, when the new bridge’s main span towers were completed, crews have been working toward its opening. The above-mentioned months stand out in my mind; your mileage may vary.

*Tag line for this blog is New York State Prepares to Bridge a Gap™

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Guest Blog: Bridge inspiration for Creative Mosaic

By Luis Barcelo

During the last week of October, my daughter’s Global History class in Ossining High School was asked to do a modern-day rendition of a Byzantine Empire mosaic.

Although the assignment originally called for students to take a selfie and use that as their foundation, my daughter asked if she could instead choose something that she sees every day. She lives in Ossining and spends a lot of time in Tarrytown, where the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is part of this landscape.

Leah took a picture of the bridge and decided that this would be the template for her pieces. She spent time pouring through magazines finding colors that reflected her vision and came up with a piece that I shared on the 10591 Facebook page.

It was nice to see the positive feedback from the members of this page and reminds me how lucky I am to have an artist in the family.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Longer wait: first span set to open in Fall 2017

Rendering of new Tappan Zee Bridge is courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority

What happened to late 2016, then early 2017 and then spring/summer 2017?

This is what I saw two days ago, when I stood at the doorway and looked out the window on the other side of the room. The view was probably 100 times better right in front of window; however, I stayed where I was because the woman who lives in that room wasn’t there.

I asked her later if I could view the bridge from her window, and she smiled. “What are they going to do about all that traffic?” she asked. I didn’t ask again.

Tarrytown Hall Care Center is where Tarrytown Hospital once stood, Assistant Administrator Amanda MacConnell LMSW told me during a tour of the facility.

Third floor rooms and its large day room offer clear views of the bridge project.

A few people there ask when will it be finished and how will it help the traffic in Westchester and Rockland. Word has it that the span will open in the fall. What happened to Governor Cuomo’s talk about additional unknowns: the built-in contract incentives for finishing the project before spring 2018 or penalties for completing it later?

Cuomo’s comment was during an October 2014 press conference: when asked about the task force he proposed in 2012 to address this, he cited variables.

“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. 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.

“Once you have those numbers, then you can come up with a plan about how to do it, what commuters should pay, on-hour, off-hour, etc.,” he said.

Higher than they are now seems about right.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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

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