No Time To Waste: Early Stages Of New Tappan Zee Bridge Construction Begin

Obama Administration's Fast-Tracked Project Expected To Be Done In 5 Years

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Work is underway on the Hudson River between Nyack and Tarrytown.

Contractors for the New York State Thruway are busy charting the path of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

CBS 2’s Lou Young got a special up-close look Thursday at the historic milestone.

You may have seen it on your way to work: the view from the bridge, revealing the first hint of what may soon replace it.

When you drive by on the old Tappan Zee Bridge and see the barges out on the water you’re looking at the new bridge taking shape and the remarkable thing is work has begun even though the contract hasn’t been let yet. They don’t know precisely how much it’s going to cost, or exactly what it’ll look like when it’s finished.

“You’re starting to see the next milestone take place. The project’s starting to take shape now,” said the Thruway Authority’s Tom McGuiness.

It’s the kind of public works juggernaut New York hasn’t see in decades. Four potential bidders are preparing designs and one of them will get the job in July, costing maybe $5 billion, maybe more.

Federal money and a promise of streamlined red tape has the state out taking test borings from the river bottom from now until April to finalize the bridge specs, digging deep into the river bottom.

“The mud below that goes down close to a hundred feet, then there’s sand, then there’s stiffer clay, then glacial till, then bedrock,” consulting engineer Tom Conale said.

Officials want the bridge to sit on solid rock, unlike the old bridge, which is now obsolete at the age of 57.

“The next bridge to cross the Hudson at this point will be designed for a hundred years,” project executive director Tom Madison said.

Opponents have called for more review and inclusion of mass transit, but the Obama administration’s decision to fast-track has made it impossible for them to slow the rush to construct. The engineers chose to shepherd the project said this time there will be no false starts.

“It’s a 3-mile long bridge, the longest in New York State. When you’re in engineering school this is the type of project you dream about,” engineer Krastina Edwards said.

The current plan is to have the new Tappan Zee Bridge up and running five years from now.

After the new bridge is open, some have suggested turning the old Tappan Zee into a hi-line style park over the Hudson. Governor Andrew Cuomo said he’s intrigued, but it’s far from a done deal.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

Comments

One Comment

  1. Linda says:

    How about for this bridge they use materials like STEEL, CONCRETE and BLACKTOP MADE IN THE USA instead of importing crappy materials from china.

  2. Kenia Armstrong says:

    There needs to be quality construction,with thoughtfulness to allow for minute changes, and proper planning.. As compared to the “new 287”, where overpasses and bridges don’t line up with the roadway, NYS needs to lead the country in quality construction and planning. The public is tired of the quarter inch asphalt that looks great, and lasts for a month!

  3. Kenia Armstrong says:

    There needs to be quality construction,with thoughtfulness to allow for minute changes, and proper planning.. As compared to the “new 287”, where overpasses and bridges don’t line up with the roadway, NYS needs to lead the country in quality construction and planning. The public is tired of the quarter inch asphalt that looks grea, and lasts for a month!

  4. mark says:

    No one has addressed the need for an underpass for migrating caribou and woodland creatures such as the Snout-nosed Chipmunk. These animals need a way to get to their traditional feeding grounds in central White Plains. The acorns and other nuts that were once plentiful in the Nyack area have been depleted to the point where these critters are in danger of a hunger stampede.

  5. Anthony says:

    The new bridge will have a walkway for pedestrians, strollers, and bicyclists. It’s a waste of millions of dollars to destroy the bridge, and it’s a waste of money to maintain the old bridge as a walkway for pedestrians when pedestrians have access to the new bridge. I positively don’t understand the logic of saving the old bridge. The original bridge should simply be abandoned. Don’t waste money tearing it down, and don’t open it up to walkers who can walk on the new bridge.

    1. infidel says:

      So just leave it there to collapse into ruin? Yeah, that’s a good plan.

  6. Tom says:

    Of course the opponents would want to review the project and delay it as long as possible. This bridge needs to be replaced ASAP. Way to go Obama!!!

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