Last Steel Girder For Eastbound Span Will be Set Near Rockland County Friday Afternoon
More Than 220 Million Pounds of All-American Steel Used on Project
Eastbound Span to Open Later This Year
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, an iconic twin-span cable-stayed crossing that links Westchester and Rockland counties across the Hudson River, will be fully connected with structural steel by this afternoon Friday, June 15. The final steel girder for the 3.1-mile long eastbound span will be set near Rockland County, completing all major steel operations on the project.
"This steel connection is another example of progress for the new bridge and sets the stage for the opening of the eastbound span later this year," Governor Cuomo said. "The new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will not only serve New Yorkers, visitors and the greater Mid-Hudson Valley region for the next century, it will be an important symbol of our commitment to rebuilding stronger, safer infrastructure across the state."
Since all New York State Thruway (I-87/I-287) traffic was shifted from the Tappan Zee Bridge onto the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in a temporary traffic configuration (four traffic lanes in each direction) last year, design-builder Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC) has been dismantling the old bridge while also constructing the eastbound span.
With the eastbound span fully connected by steel, TZC can continue installing precast concrete deck panels to form its base driving surface. The 12-foot-long panels each weigh up to 74,000 pounds and are composed of concrete and galvanized steel. TZC has installed nearly 6,500 deck panels on both spans to date, with fewer than 300 remaining. When all of the deck panels are in place, they will comprise a surface area of more than 65 acres - approximately equal to the deck space of all 19 U.S. Navy aircraft carriers in service. TZC will then install the final driving surface of the eastbound span.
Once the twin-span is complete, users will reap its full benefits, including:
- Eight general traffic lanes;
- Four breakdown and emergency lanes;
- Dedicated bus lanes; and
- A bicycle and walking path.
The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is the first cable-stayed bridge across the Hudson River. Featuring eight 419-foot towers standing at a five-degree angle, the bridge has a total of 192 stay cables that would stretch 14 miles if laid end-to-end. A cable-stayed bridge uses steel cables placed at an angle to connect the bridge deck to vertical towers that extend high above the roadway. To build the bridge:
- More than 220 million pounds of all-American steel was used;
- Approximately 7,000 workers have contributed to date;
- Nearly 11.5 million work hours have been dedicated to this this project.
Designed to last 100 years without needing major maintenance, the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is one of the biggest active bridge projects in the nation and the largest in the history of the New York State Thruway Authority. The project has been recognized across the nation, including by former President Barack Obama, who put it at the top of his list of critical infrastructure priority projects.
Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "The new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will mean a safer, more reliable commute for the millions of people across the Thruway corridor every year. Governor Cuomo understands the critical importance of investing in transportation infrastructure not only in the Hudson Valley but across the state."
New NY Bridge Project Director Jamey Barbas said, "Connecting the eastbound span is not only a historic moment for this project, it's symbolic about how far we've come. Governor Cuomo has made it his mission to strengthen New York's infrastructure, starting with this bridge."
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, "This is an exciting milestone for the new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. This bridge, which is an economic lifeline, has made driving between Westchester and Rockland Counties effortless, and also a majestic experience. I want to thank the Governor for making a new bridge a reality for us here in Westchester. We look forward to the day the entire bridge is open."
Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell said, "The installation of the final steel panel marks a major milestone in the construction of the new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. This enormous infrastructure investment, led by our Governor, has provided a needed boost to the local economy, and its completion will bring Westchester and Rockland counties a safer, more efficient and beautiful new connection across the historic Hudson River"."
South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian said, "The Governor has shown that he is committed to hardening our infrastructure, and by investing in the construction of this new bridge, we are rest assured that commuters and tourists will travel safely for decades to come. This beautiful crossing will keep our motorists sage, support our local economies by moving traffic along more fluidly, and boost businesses on both sides of the Hudson."
At Governor Cuomo's direction, the New York State Thruway Authority has managed the bridge replacement project since 2013 with two fundamental objectives — first, to fully open the bridge to traffic in 2018, and second, finish the bridge at or below the budgeted cost of $3.98 billion.
Championed by Governor Cuomo, this project is using the design-build construction process, which incentivizes the private sector to be creative on methods that speed up construction time and reduce costs. This model is being used across New York's large infrastructure projects including on the new Kosciuszko Bridge in New York City.
The New York State Thruway Authority is the owner of the project to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge, and TZC is the consortium designing and building the new bridge. The project remains on time and on budget.
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