Archive for the ‘New York State Thruway’ Tag

TBT: Controlled Demolition of East Anchor Span

Crowds gathered to watch this time last year. Here it is in real time and in slow motion courtesy of Kevin P. Coughlin/State of New York. The section looks like it’s floating on the water; however, the perfect fall caused its columns to drop to the river bottom.

Demolition experts placed charges on vertical support structures along the span of the bridge. The charges were timed to detonate in a way that would safely lower the remaining structure eastward, away from the Hudson River’s main navigation channel, according to a fact sheet released by the construction project.

Fitting it happened this month: January 2013 was when the Thruway Authority issued Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) Notice To Proceed.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

Second Outreach Center closes; New Exit 10; SUP Work continues; Toll Relief for Local Residents

What remained of the Tappan Zee Bridge lingered into 2019: its east anchor span was to be demolished, then weather intervened, and then it happened. A new configuration to Thruway Exit 10 eliminated a portion of the loop, where motorists could exit to Clinton Avenue; second and third traffic patterns for the exit were to follow.

Work continued on the westbound span’s path and connecting spur path, the old bridge’s supports were disappearing, and four Peregrine falcon chicks needed names. The west anchor span was removed, local students named the chicks, new webcams showed progress on the landings, and my mom took her first car trip across the new bridge.

Low turnout was reported at July’s toll advisory panel meetings; ArtsWestchester and the Thruway Authority asked artists to propose ideas for a mural and bicycle racks. A broken car on en route to the iconic concert 50 years ago became a “how we met” story for their children and grandchildren.

Come fall, New Yorkers chose a new state license plate (some wanted the design above, which was not one of the five choices), and further changes were made to Exit 10 yet did not relieve traffic. People noticed the I Lift NY left the project site five years after its arrival in Piermont.

A completely reconfigured Exit 10 opened in early October, one scenic overlook was completed the following month, and residents of bridge-bordering counties learned about minimal future toll increases. Although the Nyack Outreach Center closed this month, educational programs continue into spring/summer.

The path, its hours to be determined, is expected to open sometime next year.

It would have been wiser not to leave my hat on the bus: temps were freezing that day! Photo/Gov. Cuomo’s staff

I’ve covered this story since March 2012, when an editor sent me to hear residents’ concerns in Tarrytown. Plans for the project’s anticipated progress — detailed in subsequent meetings — became reality with each turn of the calendar. Freelance reporting is pure joy and sometimes challenging, and this has been both.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

Good News for Westchester and Rockland Residents: Minimal Toll Raises on New Bridge

Commuters and residents see the bridge as the most convenient way to get across the river; the Thruway Authority views it as part of a bigger revenue picture. Yet its members heard Westchester and Rockland residents explain how toll increases would impact them “loud and clear,” Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said at the agency’s Board of Directors meeting December 19.

As tolls have not increased since 2010 and were frozen through 2020, the $.50 annual increase during the next two years for New York E-ZPass® drivers brings a sigh a relief: costs will only rise from $4.75 to $5.25 in 2021 and to $5.75 in 2022. The Board proposed a 40 percent discount to commuters at the New York E-ZPass® rate and a new program for Westchester and Rockland residents with no toll increases through 2022 for those who qualify.

Citing speculation about soaring toll hikes on the new bridge, Thruway Authority Chief Financial Officer Matthew A. Howard revealed the numbers and said the policy is “very consistent” with what other states have done with cashless tolling and will apply throughout the 570-mile Thruway system.

Those without E-ZPass® (who pay by mail) will see a 30 percent increase from the current $5 or $6.83 in 2021 and $7.48 in 2022 and will have an added $2 surcharge. “The key to all of this is get E-ZPass®, and your tolls outside of the bridge will be unchanged,” Howard reminded.

He emphasized, “It’s really important to note that under the plan, 45 percent of the traffic on the bridge will be receiving a commuter, a resident or a new resident discount in 2022, paying $5.75 or less. When you incorporate the discounts that are standard New York E-ZPass® rate customers receive, basically 74 percent of the traffic on the bridge in 2022 will be paying at a rate that’s $5.75 or less.”

Even without E-ZPass®, it’s not a double-digit fare and nowhere near the once-suggested $14.

After a public comment session about the proposed changes, recommendations will be made to the Board. Charts courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

Overlook Update; Route 9W Signage at Exit 10

If you drive westbound in the right lane at the mandated 45 miles per hour, then you can see the enclosures around some of the scenic overlooks. I stopped at the Nyack Outreach Center Friday to ask about them.

“‘Fish and Ships’ is already done,” the young lady there told me, confirming what I’d heard at another time. She walked me to the table of sample materials and pointed to the enclosure’s material. “It’s more than six miles if you count going from the parking lot.” She smiled. “Maybe people can park in South Nyack and get onto the path from there.”

The first three photos are courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

That’s not something South Nyack wants people to do. Yet to the best of my knowledge, plans to prevent an overflow of cars parking on village streets two years ago came to a standstill (no pun intended) with no progress since then.

Before you even get to South Nyack you need to drive the newly-configured Exit 10. I suggest placing additional signage right at Thruway off ramp telling drivers about the road dividing to Routes 9W north and south, that the turn to Route 9W north is sharp and is not a stopping area. That afternoon a long truck started to bear right into the turn to Route 9W north and then stopped.

Above photo is same turn from an earlier time.

The car behind it stopped short as did I (behind that car); drivers were honking behind us as they completed the exit ramp. The truck driver began backing up, the car in front of me began backing up, and I pulled right into the shoulder as there was no room. The truck was also blocking cars that wanted to bear left to Route 9W south.

They need to know where they’re going before they get to that point and that the road might not accommodate a wide turn if they need to make one. The driver chose Route 9W south; not sure if it’s because he went the wrong way or would be unable to navigate the turn north.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

Driving Again: Reconfigured Exit, Same Traffic

New bridge hasn’t resolved corridor traffic, this 287 near Tarrytown/ © J Rosman 2019

Friday afternoon, freed two days earlier from the hand and arm half-cast I’d worn for the past four-and-one-half weeks, I drove to South Nyack, then to Nyack and took South Broadway back to the bridge. It’s different.

Why not ticket all trucks for driving in new bridge’s two left lanes?/ © J Rosman 2019

What hasn’t changed are trucks in the two left lanes and corridor traffic at certain times of day. The Thruway Authority needs to post signs at the entrance ramps and not only on the overhead gantries as truck drivers probably pay no notice. No trucks or trailers in the two left lanes. Ticket them if they drive there.

It takes longer to arrive at the same street using the new Exit 10/ © J Rosman 2019

Once drivers complete the Exit 10 loop-de-loop and make the turns, they arrive at the same place: Clinton Avenue. I couldn’t tell if the driver facing me has a STOP sign to her left so I stopped before bearing left; she waved me on.

Next time I’ll take S. Franklin Avenue instead of South Broadway/ © J Rosman 2019

The new Exit 10 to South Nyack and back to the Thruway takes longer, and while there is a new southbound Thruway entrance from 9W, it’s indirectly direct. My luck I had a red light at some intersections so I could check the signs posted.

Thruway sign leads drivers to same loop-de-loop as before changes/ © J Rosman 2019

The above photo shows the entrance to Thruway from 9W; however, it leads drivers to the same circle as before the exit was reconfigured and was what the village wanted. Wonder how many of the drivers below will be using Exit 10?

Drivers on 287 westbound have a long wait (ahead, Exit 3 to Sprain)/ © J Rosman 2019

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

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