Archive for the ‘Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge’ Tag

Artistic Installations gather at Scarecrow Invasion

As I drove past this friendly group yesterday, I heard the introduction to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in my head. What a fantabulous line dance team it would be!

This lovely lady greeted me as she hung from one of the trees, floating gracefully in the breeze. And it was breezy! Kinda neat that the wind added to the atmosphere around 3:30 p.m. yesterday at Lyndhurst’s Scarecrow Invasion.

Met a powerful-looking figure who’s really very tame and friendly. A sign on one of his legs says high voltage and for authorized personnel only. The visible sign reminds all to drive slowly on the grounds and when driving past road work.

From its perch, this bird was deep in thought as it watched visitors walking by.

So much to see at this annual creative culmination of time, care and imagination.

Despite a danger warning, the friendly worker above didn’t object when your intrepid reporter posed for a photo next to him. Scarecrow Invasion is open at night starting October 19 through 31. Maybe some figures or their parts light up in the dark? Will be cool to see at night. I’m going back next week. BOO!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Observations about New Bridge’s Eastbound Ride

Partly sunny weather was perfect for checking out the new eastbound ride. I was Rockland-bound to pick up copies of the October issue of Rivertown Magazine. (My story about haunted places in the county begins on page 46.) Despite posted signs, so many cars and trucks whizzed by!

As my focus was the eastbound ride — until last Friday, the westbound span was open to single-direction traffic — I enjoyed the familiar view and started to count the vehicles passing me.

On the way back, I saw signs on South Broadway in South Nyack telling drivers River Road is closed and to use 9W South (more about this in another post). Eastbound drivers are redirected from the former to the new approach span.

It’s a little disconcerting to see the gantries facing the other way. Each has one overhead message telling trucks and trailers not to use the left lane. A 45-miles-per-hour speed limit sign is posted on their poles as well.

It was only natural to look over at the Tappan Zee Bridge. Once I neared the new span’s Westchester landing, I saw in the distance construction crews and a faint cloud of dust at the TZB’s landing as the removal process begins.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

A Look Back at Turn-of-the-Century Bridge Plans

Originally scheduled for print publication, this story was cut due to lack of space. Photos from when the Tappan Zee Bridge was built are courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

Forty-one months ago and with the recently-closed Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge as his backdrop, President Barack Obama spoke about his transportation bill, announcing a new infrastructure plan that included fast-tracking the bridge replacement project.

“At times you can see the river through the cracks of the pavement,” Obama had commented about it. “Now, I’m not an engineer, but I figure that’s not good.

* * * * *

The idea to build a bridge across one of the widest points in the Hudson River began as early as 1905 with a bridge (railroad) Piermont to Hastings. Calls continued for the next 20 or so years.

Craig Long, historian for Rockland County, the villages of Montebello and Suffern and the Town of Ramapo, recalled Pearl River resident and state assemblyman Fred Horn — nicknamed “Father of the Bridge” — proposed a bill in 1930 for a bridge from Piermont to Hastings with Hook Mountain and Rockland Lake as other locations.

During the next two years, Horn proposed that idea and a bridge/tunnel from Snedens Landing to Dobb’s Ferry; however, the site was within the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s 25-mile jurisdiction. Those ideas failed as did Horn when he ran for re-election.

Long said via email that in 1935, the Rockland Causeway-Tunnel Authority was created with a drive to bridge the Hudson from Nyack to Tarrytown. “As studies begin, no determination is made as to whether Upper Nyack, Nyack, or South Nyack will be the bridge’s terminus. In August of that year, it is central Nyack; by October it is South Nyack, Voorhis Point.”

The following March (1936) Grand View was chosen as a potential landing site; by August the War Department approved it and Tarrytown on the Westchester side. While Hook Mountain again a choice the northern location didn’t sit well with Zoning Commissioner Elmer Hader, who gained support for nixing the idea, or with residents.

“This is the beauty spot of the Hudson Valley, which should not be destroyed by a bridge,” Zoning Commissioner Elmer Hader protested. New York State governor Thomas E. Dewey, and local legislators, received hundreds of telegrams and letters protesting the proposed 3.25-mile crossing, according to an editorial in The New York Times said.

South Nyack’s business district and Tarrytown riverfront estates were sacrificed and paved the way for this Hudson Valley crossing more than 60 years ago that lasted beyond its time. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute alumnus Emil H. Pager of Madigan-Hyland designed the $81 million Bridge for a 50-year service life that resulted in a utilitarian appearance, RPI Professor Michael Symons noted.

Foundation piers and steel false work were constructed near Haverstraw at Grassy Point. Rive water was dammed off to lower its level, and when the piers were completed, the dams were broken to release the water. Those newly-constructed sections were then towed downriver to the project site.

Ten days before Christmas 1955, the new bridge opened to traffic, connecting I-87 northbound from New York City to Albany, and later connecting to I-287 (Cross Westchester Expressway). Legislation signed by Governor W. Averell Harriman on February 28, 1956, officially named it the Tappan Zee Bridge to honor the Tappan Indians of the Lenape tribe and Zee for “sea” in Dutch.

Twelve-year-old Paul Anderson surprised everyone at the ribbon-cutting ceremony — including Nyack resident and actress Helen Hayes MacArthur, Thruway Authority Chairman Bertram D. Tallamy, and other dignitaries — by walking across the bridge, earning him a ride in the governor’s black Cadillac.

In 1994, the structure was rededicated and renamed when Governor Malcolm Wilson’s name was added on the 20th anniversary of his leaving the governor’s office.

A 27-mile stretch of Thruway from Suffern to Yonkers opened only 18 months after the first cars drove on the thruway upstate. Not what you’d expect four days after opening was a major traffic accident when four cars traveling from Rockland to Westchester at dusk bumped into each other.

The bridge was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (under Criteria A and C in Appendix D – Preliminary Section 106 and 4(f) Analysis for Tappan Zee Bridge). The purportedly-100-year-old wood barge and its coal cargo submerged below – reminiscent of the river’s role in industry and commerce, and in the construction zone – was also recommended for the same prestigious award.

Coincidentally, March 1952 marked the start of construction, and 60 years later (March 2012) came a Request for Proposal (RFP) for its replacement — the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge — whose westbound span recently opened. As eastbound traffic was moved to that span ahead of schedule, crews are dismantling the TZB’s landings so the new bridge’s eastbound span can be completed.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

TZB’s Final Curtain Call & a New Eastbound Ride

A mysterious driver was the last car across the 3.1-mile span last night honking what sounded like an ooga horn. Photos courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

My last ride across the Tappan Zee Bridge was about 70 minutes earlier. As with the westbound trip, I had to drive it one last time. OK, I drove westbound twice. Just because.

My friend, photographer and writer Frank LoBuono, drove eastbound on the new span earlier today and shared his descriptive observations and thoughts.  You can ride along with him and cross the river vicariously here.

Were you on the Tappan Zee last night near the time of its final curtain call?

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

 

One Last Ride on the TZB and My Observations

The thing about driving across the bridge is you have to get to the bridge, and this can be tricky. Due to a schedule change today I went to see mom at the rehab during the time I planned to be Rockland-bound.

One bottleneck is an exit from the Sprain Brook Parkway north that leads to I-287 westbound. Contributing to traffic on the Sprain is construction just past that exit. Add to the mess the ramp itself, where cars trying to merge onto I-287 are jockeying with cars that want to take Exit 2 (above photo). One impatient driver jumped the solid white line.

While I didn’t see the new facade on the building housing the Outreach Center in daylight, I did drive by tonight. I left mom around 8:15 p.m. and stood outside the facility speaking with someone for about 10 minutes. With an eye on the clock because I had to get in one last Tappan Zee Bridge ride, I drove to Nyack.

At that hour, you’d think everyone was where he or she wanted to be. Nope. My new 20/20 vision let me to see everything clearly, including the consistent brake lights from cars ahead. The only time I used my high beams was a few seconds when I exited at South Nyack.

Drove to Main Street in Nyack and turned left to see the new facade that’s getting attention (my comments included) on Facebook. IMHO, the design looks out-of-place next to its neighboring buildings.

About the bridge . . .

The eight main span towers were dark as if they were letting the Tappan Zee Bridge have the spotlight one last time. I got onto the Thruway heading east around 8:42 p.m. and a minute later looked at the familiar strands of lights that some liken to pearls. This is the view that we saw from the bus on the way home from college during weekends.

I didn’t take pictures of either bridge tonight and wondered how many people really knew it was their last ride on the Tappan Zee. They’ll find out soon enough.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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