Since the project a five-year time period.

Since
1999 there have been discussions and plans to replace this bridge but never any
action to move forward.  Countless
meetings, taxpayer’s dollars and designs were considered but none were chosen
until recently.  Having the help of the
Department of Transportation and President Obama, Governor Cuomo and the State
New York Thruway Authority were able to move forward with the New NY Bridge Project.  In January 2013, contractors and
subcontractors were notified and contracts were being released.

            The construction for the new dual
span bridge began in October 2013 and was scheduled to be complete in 2017,
after a few delays the new completion date is June 2018 giving the project a five-year
time period. This project was managed by the New York State Thruway and
Governor Cuomo with two main objectives, stays on schedule to open in 2018 and
to stay under the projected budget.  The
project design for the new bridge solved the existing problems from the Tappan
Zee.  The new bridge includes eight
traffic lanes, wide shoulders; emergency/express bus lanes, bike/pedestrian
paths and scenic viewpoints.  The design
also improved the transportation of boats with the height of the bridge being
higher then the previous bridge.  The
assumptions and expectations at the end of the project are less congestion,
less frustration and safer driving conditions along with environmental
performance commitments.  In addition to
assumptions, the fixed projected budget and time to complete a job of this size
posed as constraints for the project.  Along with prior constraints another
constraint the team had faced was the surrounding community.  Due to the noise level, some parts of the
project were only allowed to be conducted during certain hours. 

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            Prior to the beginning of the
project and throughout the duration the NY Thruway Authority took extensive
measures to preserve the environment and the affects the construction will have
on the surrounding communities.  The
project team included the Tappan Zee Constructors LLC, which was comprised of
Flour Enterprises Inc, American Bridge Company, Granite Construction Northeast
Inc, and Taylor Bros Inc. These groups combined together from their local,
national and international experiences to contribute to the design.  This team worked closely with the National
Marine Fisheries Service, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation
and several other groups to get appropriate permits evaluations and
preservations prior to construction. In addition to the team, other active
stakeholders included the state and federal government, the employees and the
public that surround and use the bridge daily.

            The
project will cost a total of $3.98 billion dollars.  “The state has already budgeted $3.65 billion
of that cost. More than half of the cost will be covered through borrowing. The
Thruway Authority has taken out an $850 million bond with payments through
2056. The Federal Department of Transportation loaned the state $1.6 billion”(www.politifact.com).   In
addition, the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act secured
$1.6 billion in federal funds.  The
Thruway tolls have been frozen and at a fixed rate till 2020.  That being said, the remaining costs of the
bridge after 2020 will be paid with NY Thruway toll revenue.

            This
costly project had a schedule and milestones they wanted to complete in order
to meet the deadline that the team had projected.  Some of the deadlines, milestones and
schedule included the following:

·     
“Foundational
steal piles get put into the Hudson (October 2013)

·     
Pile
Cap Installation (September 2014)

·     
First
piers constructed (November 2014)

·     
Super
cranes lift the first concrete pile cap (April 2015)

·     
First
pier cap constructed (May 2015)

·     
First
girder assembly placed (June 2015)

·     
Tower
construction started (September 2015)

·     
Road
deck panel installed (November 2015)

·     
Towers
reach halfway point (April 2016)

·     
Cables
installed (July 2016)

·     
Main
span tower topped off (December 2016)

·     
Westbound
connected (April 2017)

·     
Westbound
opened and Eastbound connected (August 2017)

·     
Eastbound
opened (October 2017)

·     
Demolition
of Tappan Zee Bridge ”

·     
(All
schedule information above was provided by www.governor.ny.gov
)”

 

The schedule did come with some delays
and “buffers”, but construction continued to progress as they had a deadline to
meet.

             “Renowned for its safety and reliability the
570-miles New York State Thruway plays a vital role in the states
transportation and economic infrastructure, linking the NYC Metropolitan area
to upstate and serving hundreds of millions of motorists from around the state
(www.tappanzeeconstructors.com)”.

The existing Tappan Zee Bridge, which was part of the Thruway, served more than
138,000 vehicles per day, which, was way more then the design in 1952
projected.  This new project that the
Thruway Authority had implemented, designed and completed fits the needs of the
growing community, future growth in transportation, and provides the motorists
with more lanes, safer driving conditions and pedestrian safety.