Construction continues on the new Tappan Zee Bridge near Tarrytown, new york, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. The $4 billion replacement of the bridge is one of the largest infrastructure efforts that are currently underway in the US. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
TARRYTOWN, new york – The concrete needed for New York’s new $4 billion Tappan Zee Bridge, under construction across the Hudson River, would be enough to make a 1500 meters of sidewalk, to reach all the way to Florida Key West.
And the floating super-crane lifted 220 million pounds of steel girders for the road surface is so powerful, it could lift a dozen Images of Freedom.
The monumental double span hit another big milestone recently with the completion of the eight enormous towers that support the span if it is over one of the river’s widest points.
The bridge is one of the largest public infrastructure projects underway in the united states When it is ready, it will be both a model of the latest technology and a successful restoration of a vital link in the northeast of the U. S. highway system.
Without the bridge, the next Hudson crossing is 20 miles north and has a sliver of the traffic volume. The next crossing to the south is through the traffic-choked Manhattan, barely visible, 25 miles in the distance.
A tug with the name Tappan Zee II, an Associated Press reporter and photographer got a close-up of this week of the sleek 21st-century structure, that in the place of the adjacent, aged 61, old Tappan Zee Bridge that more than 50 million vehicles per year across the mighty river.
THE PROJECT UNTIL NOW
Work on the 3-mile bridge began in 2013. The main components are in place of eight roads and four breakdown and emergency lanes, plus space for express buses and a bike and hiking trail with viewing areas.
The touring tug passed on concrete production plants, floating on ships by the bridge, squeezing out the essential material for the construction.
The incomplete roadway of the new bridge is paved with earth-toned concrete polymer for a smooth ride. At a given moment, it ends, revealing the raw structural guts underneath, with a sea of black plastic to protect freshly poured concrete.
The Overhead is the first electronic sign for traffic — still empty, in anticipation of future motorists.
A DISINTEGRATING PREDECESSOR
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he made the replacement of the old Tappan Zee a priority, pushing hard to obtain the funding, because it was disintegrating and food to the hundreds of millions of dollars for basic repairs just to keep motorists safe. At a given moment, the concrete fell off in chunks, leaving holes in the road causing the water of the river was visible.
After decades of political bickering and unsuccessful plans, the New York Thruway Authority obtained a $1.6 billion federal loan for the work to start. The rest of the cost is financed by public funds and government bonds. The design and construction was led by a private consortium called Tappan Zee Constructors.
Cuomo calls the new bridge a “great monument to the possibility.”
“New York was founded on trust, where we said that we would be able to do when everyone said they can’t,” said Cuomo the day that the towers were finished in mid-December. “That’s what this bridge is.”
THE CONSTRUCTION PROBLEMS
As with many large construction projects, the work on the bridge, still no accidents.
In July, one of the faucets work on the bridge is broken during the use of a 121,000-pound hammer to drive piles in the river below. The faucet of the massive tree toppled on the old bridge, but by a miracle it does not fall on a moving car. Three employees suffered minor injuries.
In March, three crew members were killed when a tug boat collided with a bridge construction ship and sank. In 2013, two people died when a speedboat, at night, crashed into a other structure of the vessel.
The movement could begin to roll over the Tappan Zee as soon as the summer of 2017, but only on one of the two individual spans linking Westchester County and Rockland County, according to Thruway Authority spokesman Khurram Saeed. It will be at least another year before it’s fully open to traffic. For the other four-lane span is completed, the ends of the original bridge to be demolished to make room for the land-access.