April 2014 New NY Bridge Update

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With the weather finally starting to warm up (a little), thoughts are turning to boating season on the Hudson River. The area around the Tappan Zee Bridge is currently a very active construction zone and more cranes, boats, barges and other equipment are arriving to help build the New NY Bridge virtually every day.

The New NY Bridge project team’s goal is to make the Hudson River as safe as possible for all boaters during this historic construction, which is why the New York State Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) have been meeting proactively with boating groups, the U.S. Coast Guard, marine law enforcement agencies and more to come up with a comprehensive package of boater safety enhancements.

Starting this spring, TZC vessels and barges on the site will be tracked by GPS technology, and boaters will be able to view vessel locations on the New NY Bridge website, www.NewNYBridge.com, where they can also find U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners safety information, maps and more.

Some four dozen TZC vessels are currently on the Hudson River in the project area and at the peak of the project this summer, 100 or more vessels could be in the active work zone. Boaters are advised to use extreme caution while transiting the area.

The U.S. Coast Guard recently announced that it is extending its Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) around the project site to 500 yards north and 500 yards south of the existing bridge. Boaters are advised to proceed with no wake at a maximum speed of five knots in this area, and to transit the main channel when traveling between the north and south sides of the bridge.

The RNA also allows the Coast Guard to limit or prohibit marine traffic in those areas if necessary. The RNA had already encompassed 200 yards south and 300 yards north of the bridge.

The Thruway Authority and TZC have also applied for a new Coast Guard “safety zone” around the 16 construction barge mooring locations at the site. No vessel traffic will be allowed in the safety zone.

Brian Conybeare is the Special Advisor for the Tappan Zee (New NY Bridge) Project

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