Archive for the ‘floating concrete batch plants’ Tag

Inside Story of how TZC built the new TZ Bridge

Four years after its first foundational steel piles were driven into the river bed, one span of the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge connecting Westchester and Rockland counties in New York State opened to westbound traffic this past August.

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the twin span, cable-stayed bridge named after his father, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo drove eastbound across the new span with Sleepy Hollow resident and Bronze Star recipient Armando “Chick” Galella in a 1955 Corvette, the same model year Corvette Galella drove with Governor W. Averell Harriman as part of the Tappan Zee Bridge’s December 15, 1955, inaugural procession.

This remarkable transition reflects the tireless efforts of thousands of men and women from Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC), a consortium of some of the world’s best-known and most highly-regarded design, engineering and construction firms.

In October, and weeks ahead of schedule, the Tappan Zee Bridge was retired, and eastbound traffic moved from that bridge to the new span. This allowed the design-build team to begin dismantling the old structure — including the steel and concrete above River Road in Rockland County — and to continue work on the eastbound span, which will open in 2018.

TZC’s first task involved removing the old bridge’s landings, which occupy the same footprint as the second span’s connections to the New York State Thruway. This was accomplished by cutting and dividing sections of steel and concrete into manageable sections, then using barge-based cranes to transport the materials away from the project site.

Transportation barges will carry the materials to ancillary facilities including the Port of Coeymans in Albany County. Many concrete materials and steel trusses will be recycled. More than 130 deck panels units, each approximately 13 feet wide by 50 feet long, will also be given to nearly a dozen state and local municipalities to be repurposed for other bridges and roadways.

Upcoming key operations include lowering of the old bridge’s main span steel cage via hydraulic jacks, and the removal of piles, piers and caissons with foundational material being removed below the bottom of the river. TZC will continue to remove pieces of the old bridge throughout the year, starting from the Rockland and Westchester landings and working toward the middle of the Hudson River.

Work on the new bridge’s eastbound span will continue throughout 2017 and into 2018. Once it opens to traffic, crews will begin building the new bicycle and pedestrian path on the westbound span. Features include six overlooks (resting points), visitor parking and pavilions; and interpretive exhibits, art and signage.

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge features an aesthetic lighting system that accentuates the iconic features of the new bridge, specifically its 419-foot towers, stay cables and concrete piers. TZC conducted numerous lighting tests throughout the year to help confirm the aiming angles of each lighting fixture, which needed to precisely follow the rendering plan set forth by lighting designers.

The project’s Visual Quality Panel, made up of the local community and design professionals, helped TZC develop the lighting plan. TZC prepared for these systems well in advance, installing parts of the utility and systems infrastructure into the steel girder assemblies that were fabricated offsite, reducing the amount of work required over the Hudson River.

Once the steel was safely secured atop the bridge’s concrete piers, TZC electricians began splicing and extending material, tying the bridge utilities into the systems in Rockland and Westchester counties. Utility lines provide electricity for the roadway and aesthetic lighting systems, and will also power the bridge’s structural health monitors, security systems and Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Much like the bridge’s roadway lighting, the aesthetic lighting utilizes energy-efficient light emitting diodes, or LEDs. The project’s LEDs are designed with 100,000-hour lifespans, using an estimated 75 percent less energy compared to traditional lighting technology.

TZC is utilizing modular construction techniques to create large sections of the bridge’s foundations, roadway and superstructure on-land. This allows TZC to safely prepare massive segments of the bridge off-site ahead of time, with some steel sections measuring up to 410 feet in length. Its ability to install these bridge elements is aided by the I Lift NY, whose enormous 328-foot lift arm can lift up to 1,900 tons of material — the equivalent of 12 Statues of Liberty at once.

This extraordinary lifting power, which shortened construction time by months from original estimates and reduce project costs by millions of dollars, will also help dismantle the old Tappan Zee Bridge.

Other innovative equipment includes: TZC’s mobile concrete batch plants that supply the majority of the structure’s concrete directly on the river, self-climbing jump forms that rose along with construction efforts to create the iconic main span towers, protective bubble curtains used to absorb the energy produced during pile driving; and the synchronized jacks used to lower football-field-length foundations into the Hudson River.

TZC is also constructing two buildings in Tarrytown: the Thruway Authority’s new maintenance facility and a new State Police facility. The buildings will improve bridge access for State Police and Thruway personnel responsible for maintenance, operations and security and will also allow emergency crews to quickly respond to vehicle breakdowns on the new bridge.

Crews created a new maintenance dock parallel to the new bridge in South Nyack. The dock will assist the Thruway Authority and emergency vessels near the new bridge.

Intelligent Transportation Systems will improve safety and mobility on the crossing by monitoring roadway conditions and notifying Thruway Authority staff of any disruptions. Motorists will also be informed of accidents and closed lanes through overhead electronic signage, enhancements that have been shown to minimize delays, allowing the public to get the most out of its investment.

The stream of data from the bridge’s sensors will be tracked at the Thruway Authority’s command center through an advanced Structural Health Monitoring System that will measure the twin-span crossing’s structural behavior under traffic and weather conditions. Routine and preventive maintenance work will also be efficiently scheduled with this state-of-the-art system. This vital communication network will make the bridge one of the most technologically advanced crossings in the United States when it opens in 2018.

Submitted by Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) for the December 2017 issue of Rivertown Magazine. Photos courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

TBT: Going Vertical with Concrete Batch Plants

Today is six months since President Barack Obama was in town with Governor Cuomo, who visited Piermont last month. The Crane! The Crane! If you watched “Fantasy Island” years ago, then you’ll remember the opening scenes.

Tappan Zee Bridge in the background/© Janie Rosman 2014

Tappan Zee Bridge in the background/© Janie Rosman 2014

This machine is serious business. It’s being readied for what comes next: lifting pile and girder deck segments . . . and then dismantling the current bridge.

Realizing it’s not possible to see either the staging area or activity from the road, Team Outreach posted these photos and descriptions on the New NY Bridge Twitter page:

Floating concrete batch plants: three hoppers w/ gravel, sand, cement/NNYB Outreach

Floating concrete batch plants: three hoppers w/ gravel, sand, cement/NNYB Outreach

Pop quiz: If one plant can cast about 125 cubic yards of concrete per hour, how long will it take both plants together to make approximately 300,000 cubic yards of concrete for the new bridge?

Top and inside of one pier cap, installed with rebar, nr the Rockland side/NNYB Outreach

Top and inside of one pier cap, installed with rebar, nr the Rockland side/NNYB Outreach

When TZC president Darrell Waters told reporters the project was “going vertical,” this is what he meant.

Two of the new bridge’s 86 vertical steel towers nr the Westchester side/Outreach

Today’s sunny and clear weather is perfect for checking out the viewing area at RiverWalk Park.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Bridge Progress and Four Years in Two Minutes

Blue jump forms will help build the main span’s 419-foot towers./Photo: NYSTA

Taking a look back two years ago when the main span towers were beginning. Here are the past four years in two minutes courtesy of the project team.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

A Bridge by Any Other (including a new) Name

So the new bridge will have a new name or a partially-new name: the Governor Mario Cuomo Tappan Zee Bridge? No one is renaming Westchester or Rockland counties or the Hudson River. We (the United States) are late to the cable-stayed bridge party, which began long ago (decades, to be exact) in Europe.

Can you imagine folks 60-some years ago scratching their heads as four towers began rising from the river? Would it have been possible to even build those towers? As the first floating concrete batch plant arrived on the scene (no pun intended) in 1956 and was patented in 1966 (U.S. patent #3,251,484), imagine the caravan of supply trucks heading to the water.

Trucking through a snowstorm on the Tappan Zee Bridge (not the same day) /©

The new bridge is nothing like the one that withstood 61 and one-half years of vehicles, trucks, vans, motorcycles, accidents, upgrades, repairs, attention, suicides, the elements and criticism.

Yet it also got a new name somewhere along the line as early on it was known as the Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing Project. Say that three times fast.

People don’t like change, do they?” the technician who wheeled my dad into the room for a CAT scan asked. “At least, they don’t at first, and then, all of a sudden, they come around, and realize change is good.” He looked up at the TV on the wall, and then looked at me. I nodded.

His words stayed with me. I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Aftermath of That Morning in December 2014

View from the EarthCam® construction camera in Tarrytown December 16 at 9:15 a.m.

Sometimes you follow your gut, and the resistance you encounter tells you you’re onto something, so you push harder. I FOILed the Thruway Authority shortly after the batch plant accident more than two years ago and was consistently stalled.

View from the EarthCam® construction camera in Tarrytown December 16 at 9:30 a.m.

What the agency gave me was five internal emails from TZC stating an incident happened, and no one was hurt. Thankfully. My FOIL request ended with a project official calling me “to tidy things up,” after which the Thruway Authority’s legal department told me it considered the matter closed.

Really? Here’s what I recently found that confirmed I was on the right track.

Concrete Silo Collapse By Jenna Ebersole

Law360, Washington (January 7, 2016, 8:19 PM EST) — The contractor replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York sued two companies based in Wisconsin and Switzerland Thursday in New York federal court, accusing them of shoddy work that led to the collapse of silos on a concrete plant mounted to a marine barge in the Hudson River in 2014.

Tappan Zee Constructors LLC said Maxon Industries Inc. and X-Tec Swiss AG designed and constructed defective silos, seeking at least $25.7 million for higher costs as a result, including labor, equipment and other construction costs. The group said that the silos on one barge that collapsed in December 2014 were defective and that the constructors discovered similar defects with the second plant.

“Defendants’ acts or omissions to act, including their deficient and inadequate structural design of the silos in accordance with the applicable silo-design code service loads, and their failure to construct hopper and vertical wall steel plating thickness in accordance with X-Tec’s own fabrication shop drawings, caused the collapse,” the group said.

The constructors said they signed an agreement in May 2013 with Maxon for two batch plants, including the silos, after coming to an agreement on two new bridge structures over the Hudson between Rockland County and Westchester County. Maxon then entered an agreement with X-Tec for certain designs, the group said.

“Maxon and X-Tec knew that the batch plants were to be mounted on marine barges and used on the Hudson River,” Tappan Zee Constructors said.

Maxon was [nearly one year] late on a promised Aug. 1, 2013, supplying of the plants, the constructors said, but they were used as intended until the collapse of one silo [December 2014], which pulled down two adjacent silos. The group then discovered defects with both plants, the constructors said.

The complaint said the constructors group “was compelled to stop using the batch plants and required to materially alter its concrete operations until it determined and effectuated appropriate modifications and repairs to the batch plants and obtained a third batch plant to supplement its operations.”

The group alleges breach of contract, negligence and malpractice, among other claims.

“Defendants acted negligently and breached their duty of care by, among other things, providing an inadequate structural design of the silos under applicable silo-design code service loads,” the constructors said.

Representatives for the parties could not immediately be reached for comment late Thursday.

The constructors group includes Fluor Enterprises Inc., American Bridge Company, Granite Construction Northeast Inc.and Traylor Bros. Inc. in a joint venture, according to its website.

Tappan Zee Constructors is represented by Paul Monte of Peckar & Abramson PC.

Counsel information for Maxon Industries and X-Tec Swiss was not immediately available Thursday.

The case is Tappan Zee Constructors LLC v. Maxon Industries Inc. and X-Tec Swiss AG, case number 1:16-cv-00126, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

–Editing by Patricia K. Cole

Reprinted from

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