Archive for the ‘shared use path’ Tag

Progress Update: Condensed/Abbreviated Version

Your intrepid blogger and reporter has been down for the count with a cold. Two days after attending the holiday train show at The New York Botanical Garden, I felt a tickle in my throat.

Now that I’m breathing regularly again, and the Cepacol is working its magic, I’ll share that roller skating down the winding slope of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (above, part of the holiday show) is an item on my Bucket List.

Another one is walking from Westchester to Rockland on the new bridge’s path one way so I’d have a friend meet me in Rockland and drive me back.

The last blue structural steel girder was completed since yours truly last posted here. Crews began removing he two remaining tower cranes; the other two were removed this past summer. Crews are also building piers — you can see them in the photo above — near the Westchester shoreline.

Unseen from the road: a peek inside one of those giant blue structural steel girders/ NYSTA

Since the westbound span opened four months ago, the Tappan Zee Bridge has been disappearing, and more of the eastbound span is visible. This past week, crews installed the last four precast concrete pier caps near Westchester; installation continues, including on the Westchester and Rockland approaches, save for this and next weekends.

Check out progress since last month on Thruway Authority’s maintenance facility/NYSTA

Cute story:

A woman and her son, probably age 6 or 7, were on line behind me at the supermarket Thursday. He was carrying a bunch of carrots with the stems attached so I asked her if she peels and cooks them with a meal.

“No, they’re for the reindeer,” her son answered. “They have to eat, too.”

The woman added, “He wanted organic carrots, and I told him the reindeer won’t mind regular ones.”

Then she said to me with a smile (his back was to her), “Wait until he sees teeth marks on them the next morning.”

Have fun if you track Santa’s progress tonight on NORAD. There’s no snow here in southern Westchester; however, you never can tell. Merry Christmas Eve!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Inside Story of how TZC built the new TZ Bridge

Four years after its first foundational steel piles were driven into the river bed, one span of the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge connecting Westchester and Rockland counties in New York State opened to westbound traffic this past August.

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the twin span, cable-stayed bridge named after his father, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo drove eastbound across the new span with Sleepy Hollow resident and Bronze Star recipient Armando “Chick” Galella in a 1955 Corvette, the same model year Corvette Galella drove with Governor W. Averell Harriman as part of the Tappan Zee Bridge’s December 15, 1955, inaugural procession.

This remarkable transition reflects the tireless efforts of thousands of men and women from Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC), a consortium of some of the world’s best-known and most highly-regarded design, engineering and construction firms.

In October, and weeks ahead of schedule, the Tappan Zee Bridge was retired, and eastbound traffic moved from that bridge to the new span. This allowed the design-build team to begin dismantling the old structure — including the steel and concrete above River Road in Rockland County — and to continue work on the eastbound span, which will open in 2018.

TZC’s first task involved removing the old bridge’s landings, which occupy the same footprint as the second span’s connections to the New York State Thruway. This was accomplished by cutting and dividing sections of steel and concrete into manageable sections, then using barge-based cranes to transport the materials away from the project site.

Transportation barges will carry the materials to ancillary facilities including the Port of Coeymans in Albany County. Many concrete materials and steel trusses will be recycled. More than 130 deck panels units, each approximately 13 feet wide by 50 feet long, will also be given to nearly a dozen state and local municipalities to be repurposed for other bridges and roadways.

Upcoming key operations include lowering of the old bridge’s main span steel cage via hydraulic jacks, and the removal of piles, piers and caissons with foundational material being removed below the bottom of the river. TZC will continue to remove pieces of the old bridge throughout the year, starting from the Rockland and Westchester landings and working toward the middle of the Hudson River.

Work on the new bridge’s eastbound span will continue throughout 2017 and into 2018. Once it opens to traffic, crews will begin building the new bicycle and pedestrian path on the westbound span. Features include six overlooks (resting points), visitor parking and pavilions; and interpretive exhibits, art and signage.

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge features an aesthetic lighting system that accentuates the iconic features of the new bridge, specifically its 419-foot towers, stay cables and concrete piers. TZC conducted numerous lighting tests throughout the year to help confirm the aiming angles of each lighting fixture, which needed to precisely follow the rendering plan set forth by lighting designers.

The project’s Visual Quality Panel, made up of the local community and design professionals, helped TZC develop the lighting plan. TZC prepared for these systems well in advance, installing parts of the utility and systems infrastructure into the steel girder assemblies that were fabricated offsite, reducing the amount of work required over the Hudson River.

Once the steel was safely secured atop the bridge’s concrete piers, TZC electricians began splicing and extending material, tying the bridge utilities into the systems in Rockland and Westchester counties. Utility lines provide electricity for the roadway and aesthetic lighting systems, and will also power the bridge’s structural health monitors, security systems and Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Much like the bridge’s roadway lighting, the aesthetic lighting utilizes energy-efficient light emitting diodes, or LEDs. The project’s LEDs are designed with 100,000-hour lifespans, using an estimated 75 percent less energy compared to traditional lighting technology.

TZC is utilizing modular construction techniques to create large sections of the bridge’s foundations, roadway and superstructure on-land. This allows TZC to safely prepare massive segments of the bridge off-site ahead of time, with some steel sections measuring up to 410 feet in length. Its ability to install these bridge elements is aided by the I Lift NY, whose enormous 328-foot lift arm can lift up to 1,900 tons of material — the equivalent of 12 Statues of Liberty at once.

This extraordinary lifting power, which shortened construction time by months from original estimates and reduce project costs by millions of dollars, will also help dismantle the old Tappan Zee Bridge.

Other innovative equipment includes: TZC’s mobile concrete batch plants that supply the majority of the structure’s concrete directly on the river, self-climbing jump forms that rose along with construction efforts to create the iconic main span towers, protective bubble curtains used to absorb the energy produced during pile driving; and the synchronized jacks used to lower football-field-length foundations into the Hudson River.

TZC is also constructing two buildings in Tarrytown: the Thruway Authority’s new maintenance facility and a new State Police facility. The buildings will improve bridge access for State Police and Thruway personnel responsible for maintenance, operations and security and will also allow emergency crews to quickly respond to vehicle breakdowns on the new bridge.

Crews created a new maintenance dock parallel to the new bridge in South Nyack. The dock will assist the Thruway Authority and emergency vessels near the new bridge.

Intelligent Transportation Systems will improve safety and mobility on the crossing by monitoring roadway conditions and notifying Thruway Authority staff of any disruptions. Motorists will also be informed of accidents and closed lanes through overhead electronic signage, enhancements that have been shown to minimize delays, allowing the public to get the most out of its investment.

The stream of data from the bridge’s sensors will be tracked at the Thruway Authority’s command center through an advanced Structural Health Monitoring System that will measure the twin-span crossing’s structural behavior under traffic and weather conditions. Routine and preventive maintenance work will also be efficiently scheduled with this state-of-the-art system. This vital communication network will make the bridge one of the most technologically advanced crossings in the United States when it opens in 2018.

Submitted by Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) for the December 2017 issue of Rivertown Magazine. Photos courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

On Location with more than a Thousand Words

Looking good: the shared use path on the Westchester side gets new LED roadway lighting stanchions (columns) for safety and visibility. Path construction in South Nyack begins in 2018. Photos courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

How they get there (Tappan Zee Bridge and under-construction eastbound span) from here (land): by boat as both are independent of land. Back to river travel.

Check out this view inside the cage of a 300-ton crane. Like the super crane did, this will place steel girders onto newly-minted piers near the Rockland landing.

Mighty big for pick-up sticks, right? Above, the rebar sections being cut will be or were installed within concrete. FYI, a tiny piece of rebar is heavier than it looks.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

South Nyack continues La Resistance: Parking

Determined to prevent an anticipated barrage of non-resident cars on village streets when the new bridge’s walking and bicycle path opens, South Nyack officials presented several solutions, including help from a smart phone.

“This is a long way from happening and it’s not in cement,” Mayor Bonnie Christian told the packed firehouse meeting room Tuesday night.

She was referring to a parking app that electronically monitors where nonresidents park and for how long, and integrates with police license plate readers to see if a parked car belongs to a resident or to a visitor and if the occupied spot is paid for or not.

What began as a casual study to see who was parking on village streets and why became a race to protect South Nyack from the state’s largest design-build infrastructure project. “The residents are concerned about parking issues arising from the new bridge and shared use path, and the parking committee researched several programs, including Parkmobile,” Christian said.

Three years earlier (fall 2014), the newly-formed parking committee—Trustee Nancy Willen, Police Chief Brent Newbury, Kendol Leader and Bruce Forrester—began noting drivers park in South Nyack and go to other destinations. Specifically, the number of vehicles (230 per day) parked increased during street fairs and other events in Nyack.

On more than one occasion, Leader and Forrester counted on foot “easy 1,500 cars parked in South Nyack for the Nyack street fair, and sometimes up to 2,100 cars,” Willen said. Factor in the Thruway Authority’s 2014 parking demand study for the new path that concluded 59 percent of the 473 peak-hour visitors (within a 15-mile radius in Westchester and Rockland) will arrive by car.

South Nyack is also bracing for the Lower Hudson Transit Link—that will stop within Interchange 10 (South Franklin Extension) in South Nyack and at Artopee Way in Nyack—that will replace Tappan ZEExpress next November. The committee anticipates the buses’ new features like signal priorities and ramp metering will attract riders.

“We don’t know how many people are going to take the bus,” Willen said. Factor in visitors to Pavion Nyack apartments, which allow a certain number of spots per unit. “How are we going to handle all of these cars?”

Because the village didn’t want meters or kiosks, “we (parking committee) looked into different companies. We researched all the different towns and villages in this area and we found many municipalities use parking apps,” Willen said. “You use your cell phone and call in for a parking space and pay for it remotely.”

Non-residents and occasional visitors, and those without the app, can call a toll-free number and pay via credit card. Metro North Railroad stations including Irvington (Westchester County) and Nanuet implement the pay-by-phone system; up to five cars can be attached to one account.

Other village parking options included two-hour limitation and resident permits via radio frequency identification (RFID) like the E-ZPass system, where a reader recognizes the tag on a car and communicates with an electronic toll reader at booths or the new bridge’s overhead gantries.

The cost of updating the Parkmobile (or other vendor’s) app daily with vehicle information would be offset by non-resident parking fees grossed by the village.

Based upon loose calculations, when such a program is implemented, South Nyack could annually gross between $450,000 and $665,000 revenue for daily parking during an eight-hour business day. For special events parking like the Nyack Street Fair, depending upon per-hour charges, the village could annually gross between $100,000 and $265,000.

“The meeting and residents’ responses were positive,” Christian said. Moving forward, the board will discuss the parking app option and hasn’t determined which company will provide the service if/when the idea is approved.

Note: While shared path users can park for free in the 54-spot lot on Thruway Authority property, there will be a time limit for use. South Nyack’s decision does not affect this area.

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times October 26, 2017.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Driving on all Four Lanes of the New Bridge

Yesterday I went to South Nyack and checked out the new bridge’s two outer lanes, which will become the shared use path (far right lane) and breakdown lane (second from right).

Not a bad ride, even with the gratings and the concrete strip that indicates where the shared use path divider will be built. And yes, the two left lanes were a bit smoother than the two right lanes.

When eastbound traffic moves to the new span, its two left lanes will also be a smoother ride than its two outer lanes. This arrangement is temporary until the eastbound span opens in 2018.

For the next few months, motorists have four westbound lanes on the new bridge and four eastbound lanes on the old bridge, the latter with that familiar thumpity-thump sound. Those empty lanes are being used as a construction area.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

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