Archive for the ‘New York State Thruway Authority’ Tag

Detour Friday Overnight as Westbound Lanes Shift so Crews can Build Bridge’s SUP

Two more days to drive on the right side of the westbound span because Friday night brings a traffic shift so crews can start building the shared use path.

Multiple lane closures will begin at approximately 8 p.m. Friday as traffic conditions permit. At least one Rockland-bound lane will remain open except when State Police stop and temporarily hold traffic. All four lanes will be open by Saturday at 10 a.m.

The Exit 9 northbound ramp on Route 119 in Tarrytown will be closed from 9 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Saturday. Northbound drivers will be detoured to the Exit 8.

Map, markers and route are courtesy of Yahoo! Maps

My suggestion if you’re already in Tarrytown or Sleepy Hollow:

Take Benedict Avenue at South Broadway through to Route 119/White Plains Road in Greenburgh. Turn left at the light, and continue to I-87/I-287 north/west (sign is on the left).

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

Eastbound Span fully open by Saturday Morning

Photo of new eastbound span/Mike Groll at the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The new eastbound span opens Friday night during the first of two traffic shifts, weather permitting (Shift 1). If you’re Westchester-bound, then plan for lane closures and brief traffic stops so workers can reconfigure the landings and stripe the lanes at both ends of the new span. This doesn’t affect westbound traffic.

There will be two traffic stops of up to 20 minutes on Westchester-bound lanes near Exit 10 in South Nyack for the Thruway Authority and crews to stage operations, stripe lanes and shift barriers and equipment. All four lanes will be open by 7 a.m. Saturday.

In coming weeks, Rockland-bound traffic will shift to the inner four lanes of the westbound lane (Shift 2) so the shared use path and overlooks can be built.

No, you cannot walk across the bridge yet, and yes, it’s an active construction site. For complete details, see here.

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

Got Toll Violation Fees? They’re Now Halved.

Those who didn’t pay tolls at the new bridge can relax and save the other half of the once-$100 violation fee as it’s been reduced to $50.

Better yet, pay the toll at the bridge or get an E-ZPass® tag.

The Thruway Authority adjusted the penalty after collecting more than $1.4 million in unpaid tolls from Tolls by Mail customers, thanks to the tolling Amnesty Program earlier this year and reviews of cashless tolls collections. More than a quarter of a million — sounds better than 281,000 — violations were resolved.

For the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo bridge, if the first toll bill is not paid by the customer, a $5 late fee will be imposed on the second notice. If a second notice is also ignored, violation fees of $50 per toll will be imposed.

Motorists can get E-ZPass® On-the-Go at one of about 780 retailers across the state. Register it February 1 through February 26 to receive a $10 account credit after 10 trips on the Thruway.

For more information, click here.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

Last Week for Cashless Toll Violation Amnesty

New signs that alert drivers of toll at new bridge, how to pay if they have no E-ZPass® /NYSTA

Did you know there are two overhead gantries near Exit 10 in South Nyack? One you will see on the Thruway; the other is where the entrance ramp narrows to meet the Thruway. If you don’t have an E-ZPass® tag and drove under either gantry, then here’s good news: you can pay those unpaid tolls without fees until next Monday.

The Thruway Authority’s amnesty program for Tolls by Mail cashless tolling customers who travel between Westchester and Rockland started January 22 and ends February 26. If you received a letter from the Thruway Authority in early February indicating you have a balance, then you were given directions for paying it and having your fees waived via this web page.

Fees will be waived if payment is received by February 26, 2018, either by credit card or mail-in coupon with a check or money order to the Thruway Authority.

One of two overhead gantries near South Nyack for cashless tolling/© Janie Rosman 2018

This applies to violations issued between April 24, 2016, and January 31, 2018, and includes those with open violations in collections and who have suspended registrations. Motorists with E-ZPass® violations or other violations unrelated to the new bridge are not eligible.

For the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo bridge, if the first toll bill is not paid by the customer, a $5 late fee will be imposed on the second notice. If a second notice is also ignored, violation fees of $100 per toll will be imposed.

Motorists can get E-ZPass® On-the-Go at one of about 780 retailers across the state. Register it February 1 through February 26 to receive a $10 account credit after 10 trips on the Thruway.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

%d bloggers like this: