Archive for the ‘Governor Andrew Cuomo’ Tag

First Steel Beam from TZB: new Marine Life

“We are stewards for a brief period of time on this earth then we hand it off to the next generation. And our responsibility is to hand if off better and we will,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “If you are a bridge, the afterlife is you still serve a purpose. You don’t go up, you go down.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

ICYMI: Building Bridges: New York Increases Infrastructure Plans

Tarrytown, N.Y. – During a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Hudson Valley’s newest bridge last August, Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted the state’s projects. “I believe our mojo is back. Our confidence is back, our energy is back, and we know and we have proven that there is nothing that we can’t do when we work together.”

The $1 trillion promise made by Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign was also on the governor’s mind. “So far, nothing has materialized,” Cuomo said, one day before the westbound span of the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, named after his late father, opened immediately north of the Tappan Zee Bridge it replaces. “But New York is not waiting for the federal government.”

Acknowledging deficient infrastructure exacerbated by dwindling money to repair or replace it – and now in office little more than one year – President Trump presented instead a $1.5 trillion infrastructure spending plan, a $200 billion package that shifts financial burden onto states and private investors during the next 10 years.

A $100 billion infrastructure plan outlined in Cuomo’s 2016 agenda includes modernizing several airports, building a new LaGuardia Airport, increasing the capacity of public transportation, renovating Penn Station, expanding the Javits Convention Center in New York City, and investing in roads, bridges and tunnels.

“There’s one word: commitment,” New York State Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll says. “It goes without saying there are a lot of infrastructure challenges, and we’re working closely with federal partners (and) our Congressional delegation.”

Equally important, Driscoll notes, are the 2,500 local-level projects across the state. “These are very important to local economies and transportation needs, and while it’s a big undertaking, the resources are there.”

Cuomo focused on replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge after talks in 1999 to include it in a 30-mile improvement project along Interstate 287 stalled for the next 10 years. Nearly 140,000 vehicles crossed the 3.1-mile Tappan Zee Bridge at one of the Hudson River’s widest points daily; the river was visible through cracks in the pavement even with the Thruway Authority’s recent deck replacement program that began in 2007 and continued into 2013.

“At times you can see the river through the cracks of the pavement,” then-President Barack Obama said about the Tappan Zee during a May 2014 visit to the Hudson Valley. “Now, I’m not an engineer, but I figure that’s not good.”

Key elements that determine the status of a bridge are its deck or its superstructure (above the deck) or the supports beneath the deck. Ratings are based upon biennial bridge inspections; state and local governments submit the data to the Federal Highway Administration as part of the National Bridge Inventory. “Not every bridge that gets fixed is structurally deficient,” American Road & Transportation Builders Association Economist Alison Premo Black says.

ARTBA reports the average age of a structurally deficient bridge is 67 years, compared to 40 years for non-deficient bridges; states have identified needed repairs on nearly one-third of U.S. bridges. The Tappan Zee Bridge was retired in early October, two months short of its 62nd birthday.

With support from Obama and the U.S. Department of Transportation through design-build legislation signed by Cuomo in December 2011 and a fast-tracked federal environmental review and procurement process, the Empire State’s bridge replacement project (named the New NY Bridge Project) forged ahead in early 2012 when the state released its Request for Proposals.

“Design-build ignites the private sector’s ability to innovate,” Driscoll says. “It’s worked well at the state level, too, as the Department of Transportation has completed projects with design-build. It’s more cost-effective and accelerates efforts.”

When a team is hired together, it can order supplies in advance, especially if there’s a shortage of materials and a six- to eight-week window before materials arrive. “This allows them to innovate and discuss what will and won’t work early on. For example, an architect may suggest something that is too expensive for a plumber to deliver on budget,” explains Lisa Washington, executive director and CEO at Design-Build Institute of America in Washington.

Consortium Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) won the $3.98 billion contract thanks to its massive crane, the Left Coast Lifter (nicknamed I Lift NY) that reduced dredging needs by 50 percent and saved New York $1 billion. The projected cost was originally expected to exceed $5 billion. With the ability to lift 12 Statues of Liberty, the crane is hoisting and placing sections of steel and concrete onto the new bridge and is helping dismantle the old bridge. Its two moveable barriers and 133 of its deck panels will be sent to other state and local municipalities.

“Engineering professionals involved in project delivery, who regularly evaluate mistakes that make it from design to construction, observed around 80 percent of errors are created when the source engineering data is communicated through traditional plans sheets,” says Danny Kahler, principal at Kahler Engineering Group in Dallas and past chair of American Society of Civil Engineers Digital Project Delivery committee.

TZC is also using building information modeling (BIM), which is “one type of software, among many others, that helps manage the information of design and construction, especially in the vertical market,” Kahler says. “It’s the exploitation of the actual engineering data that has the potential to save time and money.”

The second span of the Cuomo Bridge is slated to open to traffic sometime this year and on budget with eight traffic lanes, four breakdown/emergency lanes, a state-of-the-art traffic monitoring system, a dedicated bus lane, room for future light rail, cashless tolling and LED lighting. Crews will then build the walking/bicycle path the new bridge’s northern span.

While the lower Hudson Valley’s newest bridge is the one of the nation’s largest infrastructure projects in the country, it has not been the only one. Two immense projects were the Interstate-35W Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis, which collapsed in 2007 during evening rush hour, and the Pentagon project just outside of the nation’s capital.

Even with harsh winters, the I-35W Bridge was completed in less than one year – three months ahead of schedule – and cost $234 million, excluding contractor bonuses for completing it earlier than planned. “The team committed to building it better and took a limited budget, partnering early on with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and building the bridge for a 100-year life span,” Washington says.

One of the nation’s largest design-build projects – the $1.2 billion, 20-year Pentagon Renovation Program (known as PenRen) – was already underway when the building was attacked on 9/11. Its model jump-started the post-9/11 Phoenix Project, which was launched immediately with a $500 million budget and a goal of reopening the damaged wings before the first anniversary. It was finished 28 days ahead of schedule and nearly $194 million under budget.

While states may have to jockey for federal money, the Empire State is taking the lead with robust plans. For the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project, Cuomo believes “it was our New York energy, our New York attitude, it was our New York drive that made it happen.”

My article was originally published in U.S. News & World Report April 2, 2018.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

Tappan Zee Materials will help create Reefs

Figured you wanted to see ano TZB photo albeit one not reef-bound/ © J Rosman 2014

Although it began 25 years ago, New York State’s Artificial Reef Program neither developed nor progressed. Things change this summer, when the Department of Environmental Conservation will oversee the creation of six reefs from Tappan Zee Bridge materials.

Managed by the DEC, the program includes two reefs in the Long Island Sound, two in the Great South Bay, and eight artificial reefs in the Atlantic Ocean.

Next month, the state will begin deploying 33 barges of recycled bridge materials and 30 contaminant-free vessels — cleared by the DEC and the U.S. Coast Guard — that will colonize and attract fish.

In addition to its 133 deck panels and two moveable barrier machines, more of the bridge will have an afterlife in the Smithtown Reef, Shinnecock Reef, Moriches Reef, Fire Island Reef, Hempstead Reef and Rockaway Reef. For details, click here.

More than 43,000 cubic yards of clean, recycled bridge material, 338 cubic yards of steel pipe from the Department of Transportation and 5,900 cubic yards of jetty rock will help build those six artificial reefs now through August. “We are stewards for a brief period of time on this earth then we hand it off to the next generation. And our responsibility is to hand if off better and we will,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

Crews remove Center of Tappan Zee Main Span

Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Seven months after the final set of tires crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge, crews began removing the first of five sections from the cantilever truss structure’s 2,415-foot main span.

The process of dismantling and placing its 532-foot-long center span onto a barge began Monday evening. While boaters were advised the main span channel would be closed for 48 hours to accommodate the operation, the precise time for completion had not been determined at press time.

Eight hydraulic strand jacks lowered the 4,750-ton suspended center span onto a barge to be transported offsite for further disassembly. Two moveable barrier machines, no longer needed, and 133 deck panels removed at an earlier time will be sent to nearly 12 state and local municipalities.

Last November, Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) and the I Lift NY super crane began the year-long process of dismantling the old bridge by removing sections of steel.

“This new bridge is a vital economic link for Rockland and the entire Hudson Valley,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day commented. “I look forward to the full opening of this modern crossing that has been long awaited by our residents.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer called the new bridge “a symbol of innovation and technology. The Tappan Zee Bridge served our County well, but transportation needs have changed since it was constructed, and it is time for it to be taken down.

Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Both counties will benefit from the Lower Hudson Transit Link system that begins November 2018 and replaces Rockland County’s Tappan Zee Express buses.

During the coming months, crews will remove two main span sections via barge-based cranes. Strand jacks will assist with lowering the two anchor spans, after which the super crane will help remove the main span’s steel support structures, completing main span removal by late fall 2018.

“New York is leading the nation in rebuilding and reimagining our infrastructure so we can meet the demands of the fast-paced, 21st century economy,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

This milestone in the project’s development follows the opening of the new TZ’s westbound span August 26, 2017. Eastbound traffic shifted to that span six weeks later. The final set of commuter rubber met the Tappan Zee Bridge’s road deck at 10 p.m. October 6, 2017, when Nyack resident Seth Kestenbaum drove his restored 1929 Ford Model A across the span prior to its retirement.

Four lanes each of opposite-direction traffic on the westbound span will continue until the eastbound span opens later this year, when each span will each have eight general traffic lane — four breakdown and emergency lanes and dedicated bus lanes — in addition to space for commuter rail when funds become available and a bicycle and walking path.

“Infrastructure investments such as this are invaluable components of a vibrant state economy, and none are more important to our region than this new, more resilient and stronger crossing,” Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell noted.

Main span of Tappan Zee Bridge minus center section/EarthCam® construction camera

“The construction of this new bridge will provide safe and more efficient travel for residents and visitors for generations, and I thank the Governor for recognizing the need to take action to replace the Tappan Zee,” South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian commented.

Design-build construction championed by the governor incentivizes the private sector to be creative on methods that speed up construction time and reduce costs and is used across New York’s large infrastructure projects, including the new Kosciuszko Bridge in New York City.

“The new bridge marks another step toward transforming New York’s infrastructure, reducing congestion for motorists and generating immense economic benefits for local communities, “ Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll commented.

“(It’s) a great example of the state’s commitment to future generations of New Yorkers,” New NY Bridge Project Director Jamey Barbas agreed.

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times May 10, 2018.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

TBT: Main Span Towers’ Topping Off Ceremony

It’s Throwback Thursday, and you know what that means: this time last year, media had an exclusive, first-time look at the new westbound span. I’ve said at earlier times and repeat, the project is colorful: the I Lift NY, bright blue structural steel girders, red and yellow cranes, blue jump forms, yellow guard rails.

Governor Cuomo braved freezing temps without gloves, hat or scarf during the topping ceremony for the new bridge’s eight main span towers.

Facing north: one of the new main span towers high above the Hudson River/© H. Jackson

I looked at the stay cables tensioned under the main span and the girders peeking out from under the Westchester approach, where we stood, and at the rebar along the northern side of what would eventually be the shared use path and at the jump forms atop the towers and at the road deck built east from the main span (built west, too, that we couldn’t see).

The photo to the right — one of the towers with stairs leading to the top — got me thinking about how nervous I was in high school gym class if the teacher asked us to stand on the balance beam or sit on the lower of two uneven parallel bars.

Last year was an experience, surpassed only by the opening ceremony this past August.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

%d bloggers like this: