Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today inspected the start of formal construction on the New NY Bridge project and toured the construction site to see firsthand the progress of the new bridge to replace the Tappan Zee. Todays tour included a briefing from the projects lead construction officials including New NY Bridge Project Manager Peter Sanderson, and was the first of monthly meetings that the Governor will receive moving forward to ensure that construction stays on track. Following todays examination, the Governor announced that the project is on budget and on schedule, and has already helped grow the local economy by creating nearly 600 jobs and benefiting 500 companies, many of which are located in the Lower Hudson Valley.
In just two years, after more than a decade of delay, the New NY Bridge project has aggressively moved forward, Governor Cuomo said. This afternoon, I took a tour of the construction to inspect firsthand the tremendous progress that has been made, and I am pleased to report that I am confident that the New NY Bridge project, arguably the most ambitious infrastructure project the State has undertaken in decades, will deliver a new bridge on budget and on schedule for the taxpayers and the Lower Hudson Valley community.
The Thruway Authority is grateful for Governor Cuomo's strong leadership and support, and we will continue to work with the Governors office and all of the federal and state agencies involved to ensure that the project is completed on time and on budget, said Thruway Authority Chairman Howard P. Milstein. The New NY Bridge is the largest transportation infrastructure project in North America and one of the largest construction contracts in New York State history. We are becoming a national model for how a project like this can be planned and managed effectively using private sector knowledge and public sector transparency.
The launch of these monthly briefings for the Governor follows the recent start of formal construction and last weeks announcement that New York State has received federal approval on an up to $1.6 billion low interest loan through the federal governments Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, which marked a major step forward in the New NY Bridge project. On October 16, formal construction began with installation of the first permanent piles that will comprise the foundation of the new bridge.
With formal construction underway, these briefings will help ensure that the project stays on schedule and will provide a regular forum for any issues to be discussed with the Governor. The bridge is scheduled to be completed in just less than five years from the start of formal construction, making it one of the nations largest construction projects to be completed in such a short time.
The project is currently on budget and on schedule, and already has a positive impact on the local economy. The Governor also announced today that so far, nearly 600 jobs have been created by the project and 500 businesses, including contractors, consultants and suppliers, have benefited from the project. Of those 500 firms, 220 are located within 60 miles of the project and 70 are within a 15-minute drive. The project is expected to create thousands of jobs during its duration.
- Dredging to prepare for bridge construction ended on November 1, 2013 and will also take place during August, September and October, 2014.
- October 2013: Main span permanent pile installation begins
- November 2013: Permanent pile installation begins for approaches
- March 2014: Work begins on approach substructure
- June 2014: Work begins on main span substructure
- September 2014: Work begins for erection of superstructure
- Late 2014 / early 2015: Work begins on cable stay installation
- Late 2016: Complete north span
- December 2016: Relocate westbound traffic to new north span
- February 2017: Relocate existing eastbound traffic to new north span
- February 2017: Start demolition of existing bridge
- Late 2017: Both spans complete
- November 2017: Relocate eastbound traffic from new north span to new south span
- April 2018: Physical completion of project
- July 2018: Final acceptance of project
Under Governor Cuomos leadership and with the support of President Barack Obama and the federal government, the New NY Bridge project has progressed to actual construction in just two years, following a decade of delay. Since October 2011, steps forward include: new design-build legislation was enacted; concurrent environmental review and procurement processes were completed; a project labor agreement was negotiated with construction unions; and pre-construction activities commenced all with an unprecedented level of transparency and community involvement.
Extensive measures will be in place throughout the duration of the project to protect the environment and to monitor the impact of construction on surrounding communities.
The bridge is being designed and built by Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC), a consortium of some of the world's best-known and most highly-regarded design, engineering and construction firms, including Fluor, American Bridge, Granite, and Traylor Bros., along with key design firms HDR, Buckland & Taylor, URS, and GZA. TZC is working closely on the project with a team of employees from the New York State Thruway Authority and the State Department of Transportation.
Plans for a new bridge to replace the Tappan Zee were first discussed in 1999, and over the next 11 years, $88 million in taxpayer dollars was spent, 430 meetings were held, 150 concepts were considered but the project did not move forward.
The existing Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge toll bridge opened to traffic in 1955 and is a vital artery for residents, commuters, travelers and commercial traffic. Designed to carry up to 100,000 vehicles each day, daily bridge traffic has grown to about 138,000 vehicles. In recent years, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to maintain the structure. Heavy traffic and lack of emergency shoulders can create unsafe driving conditions on the bridge and lead to frequent congestion and frustration for motorists.