Archive for the ‘emergency turnaround lanes’ Tag

Throwback Thursday: First Responders in Mind

Above are five structural steel beams for one of three safety turnarounds that will aid first responders in case of emergencies on the new bridge. We were en route to the center of the westbound span — as far as was safe since the span hadn’t been finished — to celebrate the main span towers’ completion in December 2016.

Above is the underside of one turanound courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

Be Careful: Trucks use Westbound Span Left Lanes

Yesterday was another day: went to run an errand in the afternoon and got stuck in early accumulating traffic. As traffic was shifted so crews could work on the path, the westbound span’s middle lanes became the two left lanes that trucks and trailers are supposed to avoid.

For this reason, I was surprised to see an 18-wheeler with Florida license plates to my right (I was in the far left lane) and even more surprised when I noticed the left signal blinking. The driver cut in front of me, and luckily I was going slower than the span’s speed limit. You can see how close the truck was as he began to move in front of my car — I have a 1998 Honda Civic LX sedan and not one of the newer cars with smaller hoods — without checking to see if he had enough room.

Turns out there was a two-car accident ahead in his lane. I moved two lanes to the right and was by now in the second-from-right lane. I passed the scene of the accident — looked like one car rear-ended another — and watched in horror as man from one of the cars took pictures with his cell phone. Worse yet, a little girl was also outside the cars. WHAT?

Further west was a stalled car in the far right lane that added to the accumulating traffic.

Because I don’t have a hands-free device I waited until I reached Exit 10 to call 911 and told the dispatcher I was in South Nyack and passed an accident on the westbound span of the new bridge. I didn’t say it; the dispatcher did. “Oh, the Tappan Zee?”

I also told the dispatcher a man got out of the car to take pictures and added, “He shouldn’t do that.” I hope no one was hurt. The span is temporarily similar to the old bridge: no shoulders in case of an accident and for disabled vehicles.

Be careful and stay safe.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

Disappearing Gusset Plates, New Bridge Fencing

“Where was this photo taken?” It looks like a westward view between the two spans from one of the new bridge’s three emergency turnaround lanes’ anti-climb fencing in this photo courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority. We’re told fencing will run the length of the bridge and shared use path save for where soundwalls are installed at each landing.

As the eastbound spans nears completion, the Tappan Zee Bridge continues to disappear per the above Thruway Authority photo. Crews are torching steel gusset plates off the old bridge, while other plates support the structure as the main span is being dismantled.

It’s expected the eastbound span will soon open, and then crews will turn their attention to the shared use path that will intersect the Esposito Trail in South Nyack. Going to walk it today.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

Safety Features on the New Bridge Will Aid Fire and Emergency Services

What better way for fire and emergency services personnel to kick-start the New Year than with a meeting about safety features on the new bridge?

 Lane configurations on the new bridge were of interest to fire and emergency personnel/Photo Cr: NNYB Outreach

Lane configurations on the new bridge were of interest to fire and emergency personnel/Photo Cr: NNYB Outreach

About 80 members of the Rockland County Fire Chief’s Association learned how its lane configurations and water system would aid their all-volunteer services.

“It was a great program, and all of the members at the meeting took some good information away from it,” RCFCA President Harold Straut said of Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare’s presentation. “This is such a large project that will affect Rockland County, especially rescue personnel, and I felt it would be beneficial for fire services.”

Formed in 1952 so the fire chiefs and officers could meet on a regular basis to talk about fire service concerns in their county, the association’s membership grew from 37 charter members to more than 600. Its monthly meetings cover events, training issues, ideas, scheduling educational fire, rescue, and leadership-based seminars, and any other issues affecting Rockland’s emergency services.

Many fire personnel cross the bridge for work, “and it’s important for them to know about the project and the new bridge,” Straut noted.

Project officials sought input from fire departments, including several RCFCA members in Tarrytown and Central Nyack, law enforcement, EMS teams and municipal agencies to help identify safety and security issues. Teams bidding for the project nearly three years ago had to respond to very specific safety requirements in the state’s Request For Proposal.

“It was a pleasure meeting with the Rockland County Fire Chiefs Association to give an update on the remarkable progress being made on the New NY Bridge project and answer questions. From the planning to the design and now construction of the new bridge, the project team continues to meet proactively with local fire, police and other emergency personnel to get their input and ideas on how to enhance and ensure safety for the traveling public and for the first responders themselves.” — Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare

Of specific interest were the safety nets underneath the viewing areas, the lane configurations and the new bridge’s water system. Three graded turnarounds will operate much like crossings in preparation for light rail.

Safety features will aid fire and emergency personnel response time. Photo credit: NNYB Outreach

Safety features will aid fire and emergency personnel response time. Photo credit: NNYB Outreach

Nanuet Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Ready, who commutes to Elmsford, appreciated the presentation and hearing about the new safety additions.

“It was very informative, and a push in the right direction towards safety,” Ready said. “I didn’t know there would be two spans or how they’re building the first one, then shifting traffic, and taking down the bridge, then building the second span,” he said.

Ready explained fire departments use a standpipe, like those outside high rise buildings, and open a valve through which water flows from the tanker truck.

The new bridge will have a fire department connection with valves at each end that allow water to flow through pipes directly to hydrants. Staggered on the inside and outside lanes at 350-feet intervals and not more than 175 feet apart, hydrants will be fed from a dry system (not filled with water until needed) in winter and a water-pumped system during summer months.

These all-volunteer firefighters and rescue personnel protect and answer the call in all weather, and last Sunday’s freezing rain was an extreme example of what they can encounter, Straut said. They’ve a two-fold concern: getting to the firehouse, and once there, response time is compromised because of road conditions.

“That is one of the reasons we had the presentation on the new bridge,” he said. “It not only affects us now (rescues and accidents during construction) but we need to learn what it will be for us as they progress and when it is completed.”

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times January 22, 2015.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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