Archive for the ‘floating concrete batch plants’ Tag

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) /© Wn.com

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 http://www.law360.com

In Plain Sight: Batch Plant a Mystery No More

Floating concrete batch plant arrived in the summer, ready to work/© Janie Rosman 2014

Floating concrete batch plant arrived in the summer, ready to work/© Janie Rosman 2014

Every now and again I receive a notice that a floating concrete batch plant is available and ready for shipping. Am I interested? the email asks.

It’s been 18 months since the accident that necessitated Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) to shut down one floating concrete batch plants a few months into its duties. Why did it shut down the second?

Last December, one year after that accident, the governor ruled on Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). His office reviewed each project-related FOIL request with a fine-tooth comb, sources told me as the FOIL request hit snags that were more like stone walls.

I figure this is why it took so long to find out what happened after the first plant collapsed yet both plants were shut down. I’d surmised they were built similarly, and the bridge builder knew there was a chance the second batch plant might collapse, too.

Back then I asked: Would it have been a matter of time before an identical malfunction occurred in that second batch plant so TZC took precautions if both were prepped, inspected and tested identically?

A project source told me: yes, the second crane would have malfunctioned.

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.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

Aftermath of FOIL Request re Batch Plant Mishap

Today The New York Times published an article about Governor Cuomo’s ruling on information requests. Very interesting indeed.

* * * * *

This time last year I submitted a Freedom Of Information Law (FOIL) request asking for information about the week prior to the concrete batch plant’s collapse. Each time I asked when said information will be forthcoming, the office told me:

“Based on the continued review, and with due regard for POL § 89(3)(a), staff anticipates providing a response to your request on (date).”

The reply to my recent email (August 7, 2015) said I can expect a response on September 28, 2015 . . . that will tell me when to expect the next response.

* * * * *

Here’s how it went down.

By September I was stuck in the equivalent of voice mail hell and was never going to get an answer, let alone a straight answer, from the Public Information Officer. I sought help from several sources, which advised me to appeal the delay to the Thruway Authority.

Within the allotted 10 days I received five interoffice emails that were red alerts among project officials and assurances that no one was hurt.

I replied, the attorney responded, and then I received a call from one of the governor’s advisors not long after about “tidying up” matters. Someone wanted me to stop asking, I’m sure. It took nearly a full year for someone to tell me “the Thruway Authority doesn’t have that kind of information in its records.”

Really?

How can the Thruway Authority claim to know nothing about the batch plants for the country’s most tightly overseen project? It sidestepped the issue and told me to contact Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC.

If there was nothing wrong with the second batch plant, then why were both shut down? Were the barges supporting them not strong enough to hold their weight in rough weather?

Would it have been a matter of time before an identical malfunction occurred in that second batch plant so TZC took precautions if both were prepped, inspected and tested identically?

Ask away until the questions get too close.

Why wouldn’t the Thruway Authority want to know? Then again, maybe it does.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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