Archive for the ‘Tappan Zee Constructors’ 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

On My Mind: New Year, Unanswered Questions

Socks, sneakers and wheels indicate a sign of the path to come/NYS Thruway Authority

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020!

I’ve been asking about artwork on the new bridge since silence enveloped the projects after a Request For Proposal (RFP) last summer. Deadlines for submitting those proposals, and the deadline for installing one of them, were months ago. The next installation deadline comes in the spring.

Patricia Gallagher Newberry, Society of Professional Journalists national president, said, “Censorship has stalked a horrific path through history. This is another instance. It is heartening to find another way to fight this trend toward silencing public employees, which SPJ has identified as a grave risk to public welfare.”

This situation reminded me of a call I received five years ago during my quest for information about a failed silo on one of the two floating concrete batch plants that had arrived months earlier. Why did the contractor also shut down the batch plant that didn’t mechanically fail unless it, too, would experience the same issue at a later time?

An attorney responded, and then I received a call from one of the governor’s then-special advisor not long after about “tidying up” matters. Someone wanted me to stop asking, I’m sure. It took nearly a full year for someone to tell me “the Thruway Authority doesn’t have that kind of information in its records.”

I’d sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the New York State Thruway Authority, whose public information officer stalled me. One year later I learned my hunch was correct. Back then I asked: Would it have been a matter of time before that same malfunction occurred in the second batch plant although both were prepped, inspected and tested identically?

A project source told me: yes, the second plant would have malfunctioned, which I suspect was why the agency stalled, then refused to provide the documents I sought in the request.

One year after that accident, Governor Cuomo ruled on Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). His office reviewed each project-related FOIL request with a fine-tooth comb, sources told me as the FOIL request hit snags that were more like stone walls.

Never stop asking questions.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

Flashback Friday: Bridge Path Survey yields Different Views, Concerns for South Nyack

The walking and bicycle path is set to open within months (no date has been confirmed). Two and one-half years ago the project asked for input on the new bridge’s path; one sticky point was will it remain open 24/7, be open from dusk to dawn (that will change with the seasons) or have set hours? The debate continues as bicycling groups push for round-the-clock access to a path that will be monitored how? What about safety issues? Noise? Its side path opens into a quiet South Nyack neighborhood.

Catty-corner to the house Jessica Hans-Smolin shares with her husband, Pete Smolin, and their one-year-old, is where the Raymond G. Esposito Trail crosses Clinton Avenue. It’s also where the spur path and trail entrance for the new bridge’s path will be built.

“It’s not just about my backyard, nor many people’s yards,” Hans-Smolin said, speaking for the group Preserve South Nyack. “It’s about having a comprehensive plan with foresight to ensure safety, maintain the integrity of our residential community and respect South Nyack’s rich history.”

Citing a misconception that local residents aren’t in favor of the new bridge’s path, she clarified, “The controversy is where it ends, where it outputs, where it impacts on a trail in a community (and) mixed feelings about the additional spur path.”

Concept F—one of four plans presented to South Nyack by its Tappan Zee Bridge Task Force in December 2015—indicated a paved side path would be an advantage. Rockland County Times reported in February that PSN members voiced concern about the path throughout 2015 and 2016 and were told they’d be consulted as the timeline pertaining to the trail got closer.

The Task Force meets as needed with project officials, bringing recommendations to the board for consideration and “has a good relationship with the state and the Thruway Authority,” Mayor Bonnie Christian said. “We’re trying to do what’s best for our community while keeping the character and integrity of our village intact.”

Thanking the 2,200-plus people who participated in the project team’s recent 10-question survey, spokesman Khurram Saeed said in a statement, “Their input is enormously useful to help the team better understand how people plan to use the path as we continue to work on operational details, including way finding, hours and amenities.”

Encouraged that South Nyack resident was one of the survey’s responder options, Christian emphasized it’s a way to let the project team know a villager answered and doesn’t want the path open 24/7.

Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell agrees with her about curtailing path hours albeit for a different reason: he has yet to see that benefits outweigh potential negatives, while she stressed it would be unfair to — and potentially dangerous for — residents.

Trail head of walking/bicycle path and Esposito Trail/K. Wolf

“Though there may be some ‘good’ uses for it at 2 a.m., I can’t imagine the legitimate demand for it would justify the risks and potential costs,” Fixell said. “Perhaps we’ll find that there really is a lot of demand for crossing in the wee hours, but I don’t believe that keeping it open all night makes sense in advance of the demand being demonstrated.”

Metro North’s first Manhattan-bound train leaves Tarrytown at 4:45 a.m., and the last train arrives in Tarrytown from Grand Central Station at 2:43 a.m., begging the question: Will the path be available to late evening and early morning commuters?

“The idea of keeping it open only dawn to dusk (when the Esposito Trail is open) makes it unusable for anything but recreation,” Rockland Bicycling Club board member Mike Benowitz said. “The bridge is almost three miles across. Someone looking to cause trouble is not going to cross three miles.”

The New City resident takes the ferry from Haverstraw to Ossining, and, from there, bicycles to his job in White Plains. He feels closing the spur path from dusk to dawn would be better than closing the entire path overnight.

South Nyack neighbors worry about safety when the Lower Hudson Transit Link replaces the Tappan ZEExpress in fall 2018. Stops include the South Franklin Extension (within Interchange 10)—the bridge interchange—and at Artopee Way in Nyack.

“This is way too much traffic at one intersection in an exclusively residential community. We have a lot of young children here,” Hans-Smolin said, citing a recent block party where kids played freely.

Most recreational cyclists aren’t riding after dark, Benowitz said, and clubs that organize special rides will use a road and not the trail. “Large bicycle groups will avoid shared use areas,” Benowitz said. “You’re riding 15 miles an hour, and someone walking a dog turns around,” which might lead to a potential accident.

Christian and Police Chief Brent Newbury met recently with state officials to discuss the path’s safety and patrolling, Christian wrote in a July 7 update. Governor Cuomo’s office will work with Newbury and state troopers to ensure village safety concerns are satisfactorily addressed.

“It’s important to be a concerned citizen and be active as much as you possibly can,” Hans-Smolin reiterated. PSN feels if the (area around the) trail has to be developed despite its continuing efforts to save the green space, then it would like the spur path to close from dusk to dawn, and have path users be directed to exit at the Interchange 10 parking lot.

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times July 13, 2017.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

TBT: Super Crane makes First Girder Placement

It recently left the construction site, its job completed; however this day was memorable for the project and for me to watch: the first steel girder assembly was hoisted and placed onto the New NY Bridge during a seven-hour process.

lifting girder off barge

The 1,110-ton, 400-foot girder assembly – three beams assembled at the Port of Coeymans – was hoisted onto the new bridge’s 14-foot-thick foundation.

barge removed2

Dave Capobianco, a New NY Bridge project manager, said the communications conduits and wiring are not on this initial assembly and will be on the next two-girder segment still being worked on at the port.

starting to position the girder

During the summer, barges continue loading girders from the port, unloading them at the project site and either coming to or going from both locations.

preparing the pier

I remember the 2012 and 2013 meetings that talked about shifting traffic from the current bridge to the new northern span in late 2016 or early 2017.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Two SN Residents pledge Open Communication, Transparency, & Solutions for SUP-related Issues

“We want to ensure that the concept chosen will be the best for our residents and will eliminate parking from our streets while allowing for economic development,” South Nyack Mayor Christian told the Rockland County Times four years ago.

Village residents think otherwise.

They say crews doing major movements during rush hour and creating noise at all hours of the day in the lower part of the village are not helpful at all, and it doesn’t seem like the mayor has a plan to resolve it. Workers are taking liberties with the village’s property, people are nervous, and they want something done.

The upper part of South Nyack has also been affected by the construction on 9W, and the project has impacted both sides of the Thruway. Residents complained of damage to their sidewalks, animals frightened by the construction noise, trucks and vehicles blocking their driveways so they’re unable to leave for work. Photo below is courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

The mayor and trustees had time to resolve the parking situation, residents say, and they hope a change in leadership will bring relief from the onslaught of cars expected once the new path opens. Hours of operation have not been determined as talks about keeping it open 24/7 or from dawn to dusk continue.

Village residents Jeffrey A. Hirsch and Clifford T. Weathers are write-in candidates for mayor and trustee, respectively, in Tuesday’s election and pledge to “provide proactive, forward thinking, transparent and responsible leadership as we enter a new era in South Nyack with the completion of the new bridge and opening of its path.”

Their platform includes:

• Maintaining and policing the path terminus Esposito Trail, spur path and the ensuing increased traffic

• Addressing public parking solution as they’ve been waiting for the village to handle the impact of the SUP

• An open and transparent South Nyack government that’s responsive and proactive – not reactive

• Listening to the entire community and acting upon residents’ issues

• Addressing commuter bus issues

• Addressing noise and damage to village streets and private property that have become a locker room, cafeteria, bathroom and ashtray for construction workers:
o on Piermont/Broadway
o on 9W/Highland
o on Cornelison/Mansfield/Broadway/Smith and in between

• Clinton/Franklin/ Broadway issues with parking, speeding, buses, construction staging and regular illegal stopping, standing and parking by random people, delivery trucks, and other commercial vehicles

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

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