by Rick Pezzullo
The New NY Bridge, which will replace the 61-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge, is on schedule to be completed in 2018 and within the allotted $3.98 billion budget.
Governor Andrew Cuomo joined other regional elected representatives last month in making the announcement as the completion of the eight main span towers for the new structure was also celebrated.
“This is one of the largest projects ever undertaken by the State of New York,” Cuomo said. “The new bridge will be built for the ages and strengthen our region’s infrastructure for generations to come.”
To date, more than 6,300 people have contributed to the construction of the 3.1-mile bridge, which will include eight general traffic lanes, four breakdown and emergency lanes, space for future bus rapid transit and commuter rail, a bicycle and walking path with six viewing areas, energy efficient LED lighting and cashless tolling. The bridge is being built to last 100 years without needing major repairs.
“The New NY Bridge is an exceptional engineering marvel that continues New York’s legacy of building extraordinary transportation networks,” said New NY Bridge Project Director Jamey Barbas.
“We are making incredible progress on one of the largest and safest construction projects in the country,” said Tappan Zee Constructors President and Project Executive Terry Towle. “This is an exceptionally challenging project. Everything is being done on a huge scale, under extreme conditions, and on tight timeframes. Together we are building an iconic bridge that will serve this community for generations.”
Besides the eight main span towers, 90 percent of support structures on the project are installed, including the fabrication and placement of 126 steel girders sections. In addition, 3,000 roadway panels have been installed to connect the Westchester and Rockland shorelines. The last of 1,000 piles were driven into the Hudson River as well.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D) said she was proud of playing a role in securing a $1.6 billion Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan to help fund the bridge.
“The New NY Bridge is a blueprint for smart investments in critical infrastructure to bolster our economy, safety and quality of life,” Lowey said.
State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) said a new span was necessary to safely handle the 140,000 vehicles that travel over the Hudson daily.
“In order to meet the demands of high volume traffic and an increasingly diverse economy, New York has invested in one of the largest infrastructure projects of our time,” she said. “Rebuilding the 60-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge is critical to the safety of motorists and to the stability of New York’s infrastructure system.”