Archive for the ‘President Barack Obama’ Tag

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

Here’s what happened three years ago ’bout now

I’ve tried to see the crane that’s now poised on the other side of the bridge; it’s not that easy. Photo courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority.

A little flashback to May 2014 . . .

The White House’s four-year, $302 billion transportation bill would reverse a longstanding prohibition — under Title 23 of the United States Code (Highways) — on interstate tolling.

Driving eastbound on the inside lane to better see the project site/© Janie Rosman 2014

Driving eastbound on the inside lane to better see the project site/© Janie Rosman 2014

President Barack Obama will be in Tarrytown Wednesday to talk money: his administration would direct approximately $150 billion into infrastructure programs, roads and bridges, as well as funds from fuel taxes.

Against a Tappan Zee Bridge backdrop, the president will highlight the urgency of replenishing the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). Authorization for the Department of Transportation to spend on highway, bridge, and transit projects expires on September 30, 2014.

Due here in June/Courtesy Team Outreach

Due here in June/Courtesy Team Outreach

As the New NY Bridge project continues, the I Lift NY is currently being readied in New Jersey, and is due at the site next month. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s monumental undertaking was approved last December for that hefty $1.6 billion TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) loan.

For up-to-date information about this week’s related detours and lane closures, click here.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

Throwback Thursday: Then to Later to Now

Side by side are current bridge and new main span towers alight in the river/© H. Jackson

Side by side are current bridge and new main span towers alight in the river/© H. Jackson

So much awesomeness — it’s not a word; I’m taking editorial liberties — on this project to sort through this year. Two articles in Rivertown Magazine (July and December issues) covered activities through November with a look-see for coming months; here are some notable events from 2016 and earlier.

The first main span crossbeam was set in place, consultants hired by South Nyack presented plans for redeveloping land near Exit 10, the 1,000th road deck panel was placed, the bridge builder was recognized for its excellent safety record, one of the cranes collapsed mid-summer, and the first stay cables were installed days later.

scouting for POTUS visit

Watching the police scout the area with dogs prior to President Obama’s arrival (May 2014) was fascinating . . and then I heard the president’s voice via microphone at Sunset Cove Restaurant.

When the Secret Service asked us to place our belongings in a line and then step back, I forgot I’d left my pocketbook open after putting my ID into my wallet and placing that into my pocketbook. Too late. “Step back!” the agent barked at me as dogs began sniffing our cameras, bags, backpacks, etc.

The super crane arrived here — and Governor Cuomo welcomed it — that fall; two calendar turns later the project reached another milestone: the towers were completed.

Spring after the project started: “Figure Sitting at RiverWalk Park”/© J. Rosman 2013

Few thought the bridge would reach 60; it won’t see a 62nd year. With the eight towers complete, the self-climbing forms being removed, stay cables being added and space lessening between the westbound main span and the Westchester and Rockland approach spans, its days are numbered.

During the ride to to Nyack last week for copies of the December issue I told mom to watch for a sign to her right. I saw it and pointed, and she giggled. It remains to be seen if it will have a place on the new bridge, and if so, then where?

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

Throwback Thursday and More Random Photos

There are 1200 feet between the main span towers now being built - sans snow/NYSTA

There are 1200 feet between the main span towers now being built – sans snow/NYSTA

Here’s one way to have fun with snow piles, and right in your own backyard/lot.

No one knew if those helicopters above were decoys or the real deal./ © J Rosman 2014

No one knew if those helicopters above were decoys or the real deal./ © J Rosman 2014

We kept looking at the sky each time we heard propellers; then POTUS arrived.

Met these cheerful fellows while driving through Lyndhurst’s grounds / © J Rosman 2015

Met these cheerful fellows while driving through Lyndhurst’s grounds / © J Rosman 2015

Did you see them along the walking path last fall? It’s an annual festive event.

Figured out this directs traffic when pointed in the other direction/ © J Rosman 2015

Figured out this directs traffic when pointed in the other direction/ © J Rosman 2015

Not too cold this week, right? Here’s where the temps were this time last year.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

Unlike a Well-Known Someone, I Really was There

LEGO® Family Fun Day at Lyndhurst; outside, a turtle named Tank smiled at me.

jane Marj Aaron

Wearing an extra coat and listening to Prof. Ted Zoli describe pile cap placements.

media

Under the bridge near Rockland shoreline for the first girder assembly placement.

Janie

POTUS came to Tarrytown because Forbes named it . . . and for the bridge, too.

Janie reporter

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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