Crews remove Center of Tappan Zee Main Span

Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Seven months after the final set of tires crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge, crews began removing the first of five sections from the cantilever truss structure’s 2,415-foot main span.

The process of dismantling and placing its 532-foot-long center span onto a barge began Monday evening. While boaters were advised the main span channel would be closed for 48 hours to accommodate the operation, the precise time for completion had not been determined at press time.

Eight hydraulic strand jacks lowered the 4,750-ton suspended center span onto a barge to be transported offsite for further disassembly. Two moveable barrier machines, no longer needed, and 133 deck panels removed at an earlier time will be sent to nearly 12 state and local municipalities.

Last November, Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) and the I Lift NY super crane began the year-long process of dismantling the old bridge by removing sections of steel.

“This new bridge is a vital economic link for Rockland and the entire Hudson Valley,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day commented. “I look forward to the full opening of this modern crossing that has been long awaited by our residents.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer called the new bridge “a symbol of innovation and technology. The Tappan Zee Bridge served our County well, but transportation needs have changed since it was constructed, and it is time for it to be taken down.

Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Both counties will benefit from the Lower Hudson Transit Link system that begins November 2018 and replaces Rockland County’s Tappan Zee Express buses.

During the coming months, crews will remove two main span sections via barge-based cranes. Strand jacks will assist with lowering the two anchor spans, after which the super crane will help remove the main span’s steel support structures, completing main span removal by late fall 2018.

“New York is leading the nation in rebuilding and reimagining our infrastructure so we can meet the demands of the fast-paced, 21st century economy,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

This milestone in the project’s development follows the opening of the new TZ’s westbound span August 26, 2017. Eastbound traffic shifted to that span six weeks later. The final set of commuter rubber met the Tappan Zee Bridge’s road deck at 10 p.m. October 6, 2017, when Nyack resident Seth Kestenbaum drove his restored 1929 Ford Model A across the span prior to its retirement.

Four lanes each of opposite-direction traffic on the westbound span will continue until the eastbound span opens later this year, when each span will each have eight general traffic lane — four breakdown and emergency lanes and dedicated bus lanes — in addition to space for commuter rail when funds become available and a bicycle and walking path.

“Infrastructure investments such as this are invaluable components of a vibrant state economy, and none are more important to our region than this new, more resilient and stronger crossing,” Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell noted.

Main span of Tappan Zee Bridge minus center section/EarthCam® construction camera

“The construction of this new bridge will provide safe and more efficient travel for residents and visitors for generations, and I thank the Governor for recognizing the need to take action to replace the Tappan Zee,” South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian commented.

Design-build construction championed by the governor incentivizes the private sector to be creative on methods that speed up construction time and reduce costs and is used across New York’s large infrastructure projects, including the new Kosciuszko Bridge in New York City.

“The new bridge marks another step toward transforming New York’s infrastructure, reducing congestion for motorists and generating immense economic benefits for local communities, “ Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll commented.

“(It’s) a great example of the state’s commitment to future generations of New Yorkers,” New NY Bridge Project Director Jamey Barbas agreed.

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times May 10, 2018.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

Crews begin removing Tappan Zee Main Span

This greeted the rising sun this morning. While the Tappan Zee Bridge’s consistent disappearance may not have bothered some, dismantling the main span meant the bridge-park idea was not going to become reality.

I don’t understand why the idea wasn’t stopped in its tracks because the old and new bridges occupy the same footprint and connection to the Thruway. How was that supposed to work?

Details about the main span dismantling in this week’s Rockland County Times.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

Accompanied by Springsteen & Heading Home

Walking’s a lot easier, and my shoe is less snug. Means my foot is not as swollen with help from compression hose. Ugh. Putting the hose on my surgical leg is easier with the sock helper; removing it is another story. Still, I persist and so far have walked 14 miles in two weeks.

Shared use path, I’m getting ready for you! The above photo was taken last year en route to the opening ceremony for the westbound span.

And as the path takes shape, and the eastbound span nears completion, there remains the Tappan Zee Bridge. Cuts in the truss can only mean one thing, so I’m going to wax nostalgic and go back in time. For everyone who considers Rockland County “upstate,” this is for you:

October 1975. “Born to Run” is blasting on the bus radio, as we Westchesterites and Long Islanders fly through Rockland County. The SUCO bus left Oneonta at 4 p.m., and we’re due to arrive at the County Center at 8:30 p.m.

Then we see it, the Tappan Zee Bridge. While I’m glad to be back for the weekend — and looking forward to catching up with friends I’ve not seen in two months — I’m unprepared for the little shiver that runs through me.

I chose the upstate New York college for its nutrition program, then wondered what made me think chemistry would be easier than in high school? The following year I transferred to community college, switched majors, and worked part-time.

The bridge was nearly 20, the average age on that bus; Bruce, not much older.

It was a chartered bus, where you step up into seats on either side of the aisle; above them, compartments hold luggage and coats. In those seats, some teenagers are dozing, some are watching the bridge — illuminated against the dark sky — move closer, others are belting out, “Tramps like us baby we were born to run!”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

Soon to be Gone: TZB Main Span Removal Ahead

You can see the future in these photos; the two below are courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority. It’s getting close to that time, folks, when the Tappan Zee Bridge will cease to be yet will remain forever a part of the area’s history.

There is it, that cut in the main span truss. Good to know parts of the bridge will be repurposed to state and local municipalities; a little eerie to realize this day, so far into the future nearly six years ago — during my first bridge meeting at the Quay Condominium in Tarrytown — would finally arrive.

Seven months ago, the last car drove its 3.1 miles. The ginormous crane returns to help crews remove sections from the bridge’s main span. Moving forward, they continue to installing precast concrete deck panels near the Westchester landing and pouring concrete there.

Yesterday was eight miles. It’s more than three miles one way and the same walk back or there’s the Lower Hudson Transit Link.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

Logging Miles before the Bridge Path Opens

It was raining by the time I got home last night, the sixth shared use path boot camp mile behind me.

Yes, readers, I’m getting ready for when the path opens next year as I plan to walk across one of the Hudson River’s widest points. The distance will be more than 3.1 miles when you include the Westchester and Rockland landings.

I’ve walked for exercise during the past few years, even when my knee and hip began to groan. The new hip joint, six and one-half weeks old today, helped me walk six miles during the past three days (two miles in one-mile stints every other day). Goal is to work up to two miles at a time, then three miles at a time.

These are in addition to walking for errands, etc. We’re talking pre-SUP training.

While the above photo courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority is from last November, it’s nice to know the path will be well-lit for those who want to bicycle or walk during shorter days and/or dusk. Hours are to be determined.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

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