Archive for the ‘bridge replacement project’ Tag

Construction Suspended – Happy Labor Day Weekend

“Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) will not engage in any pre-construction activities that affect traffic through Monday, Sept. 2, in observance of Labor Day,” per an August 30 press release.

Courtesy of the New NY Bridge

Courtesy of the New NY Bridge

Additionally, “no lane closures will be allowed until Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 10 a.m. in order to avoid impacts on motorists during the busy Labor Day holiday travel weekend. In addition, no impact pile driving is scheduled until Tuesday, Sept. 3.”

Scheduled closures for shoulder work on I-87/I-287 this week:

Tuesday, Sept. 3 — one northbound right-hand lane and shoulder near Exit 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 4 — the northbound right-hand and shoulder lane near Exit 10, from 10 a.m. to noon

Friday, Sept. 6 — one southbound right-hand lane and shoulder between the foot of the existing Tappan Zee Bridge and Exit 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

Construction Suspended – Happy 4th of July

“Construction projects will be suspended on the New York State Thruway Authority and safe driving enforcement efforts will be in place throughout the Fourth of July holiday period,” its July 1 press release said.

Courtesy of the New NY Bridge

Courtesy of the New NY Bridge

This includes the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project.

“I urge all New Yorkers on the road during the holiday period to make safety a part of their travel plans,’’ Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison said. “The Thruway Authority will help ease the way for motorists by suspending construction over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.”

The closures are in accordance with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ‘Drivers First’ initiative, announced September 2012, that ensures disruptions are as minimal as possible to drivers at highway and bridge projects across the state.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

A Plus B Might Equal C

math

Math and I get along well on an as-needed basis – balancing my checkbook, paying monthly bills within a limited budget and income, etc.  In my previous post, I said I shop with a dollar amount in mind and try to find something within that amount.  There are times, though, when I do use my credit card – for example, car repairs, or a new digital camera – and pay the balance during the ensuing months.

Let’s apply this to the bridge replacement project:  $3.9 billion minus around $1.5 billion . . . wait a minute.  My math teacher never taught “A plus almost B equals C” in class.  We learned known amounts.  New York State could, and did, apply for up to 49% of the project’s eligible costs, potentially up to $2 billion.

How much money is around $1.5 billion?  Is it that an exact amount, more or less?

The state’s TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) loan application is undergoing a creditworthiness review by an independent financial advisor hired by the US Department of Transportation.

Project cost shares eligible for TIFIA coverage were previously limited to 33%, according to Federal Highway Administration spokeswoman Nancy Singer.  If the bridge replacement project is being advanced through the review process based on that percentage, then 33% of $3.9 billion is $1.287 billion.

The state needs to find alternate sources of revenue (translated:  new money) to pay for this bridge.  I’ve attended the past three Mass Transit Task Force meetings (open to the public) and have heard nothing about commercial vehicles using the bridge.  Per the Thruway Fact Book:

In Westchester County, the Thruway connects the Connecticut Turnpike at the terminus of its New England Section (I-95) in Port Chester.  In Rockland County, Interstate 287 near Suffern connects with major highways in New Jersey, including the Garden State Parkway at the New Jersey-New York line in Chestnut Ridge (although no trucks are allowed on the GSP in NJ).

Thank you, Governor Andrew Cuomo, for suggesting that residents of these two counties, whether or not they commute daily, receive fare discounts.  While the 45% toll hike for trucks won’t happen on the 570-mile Thruway, I feel commercial vehicles deserve to pay more – at least on the new bridge.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

How To Get There From Here

The morning couldn’t have been more perfect for a drive in the country — cool temps outside, clear sky, and a gorgeous view as I crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge. I switched lanes because the car wheels were thumping over the seams; not for much longer. Caroline Corley’s show was on 107.1 The Peak, and the music suited my mood.

Would that I could have driven past Exit 14B and further into the mountains. Dutifully, I turned off the New York State Thruway and onto Airmont Road, where my cousins live, and made then another turn to Executive Boulevard. It was the fifth meeting of the Mass Transit Task Force, and I was driving with The Peak. It was all good.

I walked in wondering, What is the budget for transit? If I want to buy something, I start with a dollar amount in mind and try to find something within that amount.  Or do I use my credit card, and then worry about how to pay for my purchase?

“It’s best to talk about financing options, rather than talk about transit objectives and back into a discussion about finance,” task force co-chair and New York State Thruway executive director Thomas Madison said at the onset.

The group was briefed on state and federal transit funding means, and talked about current transit funding in Westchester and Rockland Counties. If I was on the task force, what would I say or do?

It would depend upon the group I represented — do I want a light rail system in the corridor? How about a personal rapid transit system (like The Sky Loop Committee [SLC], which I discovered while looking for something akin to the George Jetson mode of transport)?

Per Skyloop.org: “We seek to implement an effective and advanced elevated transit system to link together the downtown and riverfront areas of Cincinnati, Ohio, Covington and Newport, Kentucky. The Sky Loop will greatly enhance this central urban venue and will help propel our metropolitan region forward into the 21st Century.”

One option was a ferry. Metropolitan Transportation Authority director of special project development and planning William Wheeler said the idea of a ferry “is not as easy as it sounds.”

It has to be subsidized and needs riders, Wheeler said.

I might try it. What if commuters decided (after a certain number of trips) that they’d rather take a bus? Is the river predictable? Can a ferry handle the volume of commuters? Would it save time for its passengers?

Everything begins with an idea. “If you think it’s the right plan, plow ahead,” Wheeler said. “There’s no guarantee you’ll get the funding you need or not.”

There’s also a chance the group will.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

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