Archive for the ‘EarthCam®’ Tag

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

Falcon Chicks Need Names so Be Sure to Vote

We’re trying to have a family talk here if you don’t mind./Photo courtesy of EarthCam®

Mama’s telling us to mind our own business. We can take a hint for now. In the meantime, check out potential names for her chicks, and choose your favorite by May 9.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Super Crane Limbos Again — under Three Spans

There’s something a little different about this photo . . . /EarthCam® construction camera

Have you figured out what’s different about this photo? C’mon, you must have guessed. Here’s another hint from 14 hours earlier in the day.

Now you see it, now you don’t: super crane has moved!/EarthCam® construction camera

The project team kept silent about a certain three-span maneuver (focusing our attention on other doings); your intrepid reporter received a tip.

Back on the southern side 31 months after arriving here/EarthCam® construction camera

No crane in sight, and then it appeared on the other side of the Tappan Zee. Thank you to the source who alerted me yesterday afternoon.

Crane clears the Tappan Zee Bridge/© Janie Rosman 2014

It must have been tricky since the two new spans are considerably higher than the current bridge. You remember the planning involved last time, right? It limboed under the bridge — aided by extra low tide that added an extra foot or two of clearance — two days after its arrival.

With that in mind, the unspoken question on many people’s minds is, “When?”

If the original plans had been followed, then the westbound span would have opened in late 2016: west/northbound traffic was to have moved to the new span in December, and two months later, in February 2017, east/southbound traffic was to have moved to that span.

Hmm.

I recall hearing the bridge builder has incentives for completing the full bridge and all its accents by March/April 2018, and there would be penalties “if the Thruway Authority isn’t handed the keys to the new bridge by that date or if it’s completed even one day later.”

Said by a source working on the project. Were these guidelines abandoned?

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Friday is Last Day to Send Names for Baby Chicks

Today they were fed . . . and now these cuties need names!

Kinda shy: baby chicks play hide-and-seek with falcon cam/Photo courtesy of EarthCam®

Tomorrow’s the deadline for local schools to enter the annual falcon naming contest so they won’t wind up as Chick 1 and Chick 2. (At this point it’s a good guess mamma falcon’s done hatching.)

In 2013, the little ones were named Skylar, Shea and Nina by the Department of Conservation. Not sure if there was a contest the following year (although there was a premier bridge art show).

This time-honored tradition is continued and coordinated by project officials. Last year the chick was named Irvwing, and in 2015 the three chicks were named Hudson, Bridge-ette and Zee.

Mama falcon keeps a watchful eye on her new little chicks/Photo courtesy of EarthCam®

Tomorrow’s the deadline, and then the poll will be posted for one week so the public can vote. Mama falcon’s counting on you!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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