Archive for the ‘Liberty Elementary School’ Tag

Free Coffee and Tea tonight to Thruway Drivers; Last New Year’s Eve on Current Tappan Zee


‘Tis the last New Year’s Eve for driving across the Tappan Zee Bridge, whose replacement waits to take a new place in Hudson Valley and New York State history.

“This bridge says that when you reject the naysayers, when you reject the doubt, when you reject the insecurity, when you find the confidence and the commonality, and you take all that negative energy and you turn it into positive energy, there is nothing you can’t do,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said earlier this month. “You find that confidence and you find that spot of cooperation and you turn that energy positive, and the sky is the limit.”

If you’re on the Thruway and need to take five or stretch your legs, then stop at any of its 27 travel plazas for free hot coffee and tea from 11 p.m. tonight until 7 a.m. tomorrow.

Wishing you happy and healthy New Year! May the best of last year be the worst of next, and remember, please don’t drink and drive.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

TZB Year Four: Progress and Milestones


Construction on the new 3.1-mile, $3.98 billion project progressed at a brisk pace since June and reached a halfway point in early August.

The new towers — several now with stay cables that are also attached to roadway — and blue girder assemblies paralleling the current span are most apparent. There’s more.

Main span towers and cables

This summer Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) began installing the first of 192 stay cables (July) on the as-yet-unfinished westbound towers to the main span road deck. Each cable contains bundles of metal strands covered in protective sheaths; placed end-to-end the total is 14 miles of sheathing encasing 700 miles of strands.

By September the westbound towers reached their eventual 419-foot heights, and crews removed the self-climbing forms to reveal chamfered (angled) tops.

Twelve pairs of cables are anchored to each side of the towers and tensioned to outside sections of structural steel. The cable bundles increase in size as they move away from the towers to support the 74-million-pound main span roadway.

All four westbound towers are finished; the eastbound towers will be finished by this month. At press time (mid-November) more than 40 of the 192 cables were installed on the westbound span; when finished, crews will focus on the eastbound span’s cables.


Constructing the roadway

Also in July the first 40-foot-long steel sections and prefabricated road deck panels were installed across the main span crossbeams and working outward in each direction.

When the steel and deck panels extended far enough from the crossbeams — as when the towers reached a certain height — workers began attaching and tensioning the cables that will support the main span roadway, and then the roadway will built across the main span channel.

Final structural steel was installed as much as can be on the eastbound span in mid-September and completed on westbound span in early October. Crews are now installing road deck panels.

By next spring/summer traffic will shift to the westbound span so the super crane can start dismantling the current bridge, and work will resume on the eastbound span.

The first LED roadway lighting stanchions (columns) were attached to the westbound span, and workers installed three “turnarounds” — two on the Rockland approach span and one on the Westchester approach span — so emergency responders can quickly get to the either span in case of an accident.

Water lines were installed underneath the bridge’s roadway and will connect to hydrants staggered on the inside and outside lanes. These hydrants will be fed from a dry system (not filled with water until needed) in winter and a water-pumped system during summer months.


Educational outreach

The five-year program corresponds to each year of construction and explains the project clearly using understandable terms. Presentations include visuals, examples and props — a piece of galvanized steel rebar (piers, towers), a section of metal strand (stay cables), a square of clear plastic (border wall of walking path).

Educators like Cottage Lane Elementary School teacher Jacob Tanenbaum say they “match exactly what our (technology and science) students are studying in their various classrooms,” which is bridge design.

Engineering, information technology and green building (sustainable design) students at Hudson Valley P-TECH (The New York State Pathways in Technology Early College High School program) in Piermont were interested in traffic patterns when the current bridge is dismantled and how the new bridge will carry the same 140,000-per-day vehicle load. Others wanted to when the spans would open, project costs and projected tolls.

“We have a group of engineering students who are Engineering 105 right now,” P-TECH Principal Natasha Shea. “It’s part of their curriculum with RCC, and they have to design and build a bridge, so this fits into what they’re learning.”

Marjan Perry’s third-grade class at Liberty Elementary School reads the fictional Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting about two boys whose fathers are helping build the Golden Gate Bridge. “They learn all jobs are important, and that projects require teamwork,” she said.

The new bridge is featured in Nyack Public Schools’ new logo created by several high school art students and on the district’s home page. Its inscription reads, “Building bridges for today’s students to cross into tomorrow’s world with equality, innovation and optimism.”

metal-strand-and-cross-sectionInspiring by example

“When I was your age I didn’t know what an engineer did, I didn’t know any engineers,” or in high school or on college, Project Director Jamey Barbas told a group of sixth and seventh-grade girls recently.

Several in Barbas’ workshop about bridge structures — part of a WizGirls conference hosted by AAUW Westchester that encourages young girls to explore technology and computer science — nodded. After learning about tension and compression, they applied their new knowledge by assembling mini LEGO® bridges.

“Events like (these) are unique opportunities to bring awareness to young women of careers in engineering,’ she reflected later. Equally meaningful was her message that you can always change direction.

Barbas was a premed student and took a biomedical engineering class in college, thinking it would assist her in medicine. Intrigued, she switched her studies and career goals.

Legislative mandates/commitments

To comply with the DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) program, mandated by the US Department of Transportation for federally-funded projects, TZC committed to a 10 percent goal ($314 million).

The project costs $3.98 billion ($3.14 billion plus administrative and contract costs)

Through September 2016 TZC recorded $247.9 million in contract-value commitments to DBE firms. Of the 245 trade contractors and professional firms hired for the project, 112 are DBE firms.

One contractor, New York Geomatics, provides surveying and layout.

“We do the office engineering via state-of-the-art computer programs, figuring where to drill, where to pour the concrete and where to place the steel,” Senior Project Surveyor Nobile Basile explained. On the bridge project it places up to four two-man survey crews on the water, and two two-person crews on land, daily.

In some cases, the company devised innovative ways to use equipment for some tasks.

Basile observed during the past three years, “Some surveyors lay out a high rise building, some work on roads or boundary; this project involves every type of surveying and layout, including some in-house, out-of-the-box solutions, It’s been a challenge but we’ve been able to meet expectations.”


Looking ahead

Workers began prepping the former toll plaza site in Tarrytown for foundation work on the new 26,000-square-foot Thruway Authority maintenance facility. Traffic shifts in October and November paved the way for crews to start building the new state police barracks south of the Thruway.

“Our consulting firm, VHB, is writing its final analysis for how we can develop Interchange 10 and make it profitable for our residents,” South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian, said excited about the positive plans for the village. TZC is using those 14 acres as a staging area.

Last month the Thruway Authority and the village jointly presented South Nyack’s preferred concept, “Alternative F,” for the shared use path and terminus to the community. “We’re pleased both the Thruway Authority and the state were sensitive to our needs,” she said.

For information about the project or its educational outreach program, visit

Photos courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority and HJ.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

Catching Up with NNYB Educational Outreach


We heard there were cool exhibits last weekend at Scarsdale Middle School. Educational outreach was there with a cross-section of sheathing that goes around the stay cables, a model of the bridge’s towers and a jacket worn by Safety Sam (front corner of table).

He smiled for our camera at the Tarrytown Outreach center, where we saw him in full gear. By the way, if you’r curious about how educational outreach started, click here for clues.


Friday was a busy day at Liberty Elementary school, where the outreach team visited students for the fourth year and was serenaded with a bridge song. Those kids got it going: last year they threw a birthday party for the current bridge.


The viewing areas in Tarrytown and Nyack have Spotter’s Guides like in the photo above so  you can match the vessel images with the equipment you see working on the project. How? Those hi-powered lenses guide your eyes clear across the river.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Third Grade Class Celebrates a Special Birthday


With a banner drawing of the bridge featuring blue-and-green paint handprints for water and creatively-designed cards, 3rd-grade classes at Liberty Elementary School recognized the 60th birthday of the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge Tuesday morning.

Before the presentation teacher Marjan Perry invited me to meet her class. The kids asked questions about being a reporter and suggested titles (I incorporated one of their ideas); see story in the Rockland County Times.

What a fun and clever idea to show water using their handprints! Perry and fellow teachers Jennifer Rhee, Deborah Barnes and Larayne Peterson helped their students make the large birthday cards with magic markers, crayons, sparklers and other arts-and-crafts supplies.

plaqueProject officials appreciated the thought and presented the kids, their teachers and school Principal Ellen Rechenberger with a specially-made plaque.

Perry felt its proximity to their neighborhood, and its connections to both environment and to technology, aid the kids’ understanding.

“I think they get the significance of this, and it’s a positive,” she said. “I think the next time they drive over the bridge it will be powerful for them when they see it.”

“She talked up the project with the kids, and this helps their understanding,” Rechenberger said. “It’s nice that the kids can see the progress from their backyards. Last year they (project officials) spoke with the kids, and they gave us an update.”


Long after the bridge is gone they’ll remember the Outreach Team came to their school on a special day, and they were part of the celebration.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Seeing the Tappan Zee Bridge in a New Light

Last week, I wrote about Team Outreach’s visit to two elementary schools in Nyack. The kids loved the presentations, and two parents said they’d like more programs about the bridge project in school.

Community Relations Specialist Dan Marcy speaking to 3rd graders at Liberty Elementary School/NNYB Outreach

Community Relations Specialist Dan Marcy speaking to 3rd graders at Liberty Elementary School/NNYB Outreach

Parents and teachers wrote on Facebook that the presentation was a success, and the kids loved it. “Wow! I hope you can expand it to a walking tour,” one commented. Wait until you read what Liberty Elementary School 3rd-grade teacher Marjan Perry said about the visit to her class. “We’re learning about it, and we take ownership of ‘our side of the river,’” Perry said. A new Journeys Common Core reading program introduced her class to two new books.

“In the fictional one (Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting), two fathers are friends, and their two kids are arguing about whose parent — worker or painter — has the more important job,” she said. This led to them learning all jobs on the bridge are important.

“The nonfiction book (Bridges by Matthew Danzeris) is about types of bridge, and my class is fascinated with bridges in general,” Perry said. “Dan showed the slide and PowerPoint presentations, and told us why we need a bridge, and talked about traffic and current construction on the bridge.”

Screen shot of falcon nest box via specially-placed camera

Screen shot of falcon nest box via specially-placed camera

They got a kick from seeing what the bridge will look like with cutouts (of cars and vehicles), and the question and answer time.

“A Solid Foundation,” year two of a five-year educational plan that corresponds with the project’s timetable, talks about the materials used to build the bridge’s foundations, illustrating via animations. Her class also learned about protecting the environment, including endangered sturgeon and Peregrine falcons.

“They kids also liked seeing pictures of the cranes working, and the construction camera views, and the falcon nest,” Perry said. And they were mesmerized by the time-lapse video of progress to date. “It felt like they had a deep local connection because some of them cross the bridge with their parents.”

Her thoughts? After living in Rockland County for 20 years, she said, “I won’t ever go over the bridge without thinking like this again.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

%d bloggers like this: