What Looks Like A Bridge Itself Is Actually Infrastructure Needed To Build New Span

NYACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Major construction has resumed on the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

Crews started pile driving in the Hudson River on Thursday morning after a long winter break. As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, expect lots of changes in the weeks to come.

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If you are looking for signs of spring, look no further than the increased boat traffic on the Hudson near the bridge. The gigantic construction project for the new bridge has rumbled back to life following a long winter slumber.

“This morning and this week we’ve really beginning mobilization to get our crews back on the water. You’ll start to see the main span of the ‘new New York bridge,’ come up, so it’s really going to start to take shape,” said Carla Julian of Tappan Zee Constructors.

Young witnessed the advance guard of what will balloon to nearly 800 on-site workers this summer, with some of them shuttling among 16 large barges anchored up and downstream of the old span.

Heavy equipment is already poised on steel piers on each bank — 1,000 yards out onto the river.

“Some people think this is actually the new road bed, but this is really a work platform that you can drive huge cranes onto to build the new bridge,” said Brian Conybeare of the NY Bridge Project.

“This year we’re really going to get down to serious business,” project manager Dave Capobianco added.

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Among the expected extensive activity, giant hoppers out on the river are set to begin lining the dredged river bottom with rocks — like gravel in a fish tank — to keep it from silting up.

The massive floating crane, called the “left coast lifter,” will be brought from Jersey City in March to take its starting position at center span.

“The landscape is going to change,” Capobianco said.

The $3.9 billion span is expected to open for traffic in 2018.

Although some have suggested it should be named after the late songwriter Pete Seeger, no decision has been made on what the new span will be called, Young reported.

Officially the Thruway Authority calls it the “new New York bridge.”

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