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Mario Cuomo Bridge

Low Bid is Recommended Design For TZB II

Albany, Dec 5 — Sometimes the best value turns out to be the lowest price too. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s hand picked team of art, architecture and engineering experts announced their selection of a new Tappan Zee Bridge design on Thursday, using criteria that would make any Costco shopper proud: low price, least time to build and smallest impact to the environment. Later this month the Thruway Authority will meet to consider the recommendation of the panel. After that, digging will commence — once the governor finds the money to build the bridge.

Proposal #1, which resembles a pair of tuning forks, was $917 million less than the most expensive design with the added advantages that it requires less soil to be dredged and less time to build than the other two proposals. Brian Conybeare, Cuomo’s communications director on the Tappan Zee Bridge project, says an additional $600-800 million in costs are expected over the price to provide project and financial management for the effort.

Although Conybeare declined to identify the winning design-build team, Newsday predicted the winner to be Tappan Zee Constructors, a consortium including Fluor Enterprises Inc., American Bridge Co., Granite Construction Northeast Inc. and Traylor Bros. Inc. Public officials had been predicting a $5.2B price tag for the project along with an expect toll as high as $14. If the Thruway chooses the $3.142 B proposal, fares on the new bridge may be limited to $9 to cross the Hudson on the new Tappan Zee Bridge, predicts Newsday .

Last September, Cuomo appointed a committee of artists and architects with engineering and bridge building experience to recommend one of three proposals to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge. The selection committee included Jeffrey Koons, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,  Richard Meier, a Pritzker Prize winning architect and Gold Medal awardee for architecture from the Academy of Arts and Letters, Thomas P. Campbell, Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Keith Brownlie, an internationally acclaimed bridge designer.


Proposal Cost in
Construction Time
in Months
Mass Transit Dredging in
Cubic Yards
“Tuning Forks”
$3.142  62.5 Ready  951,000
“Golden Gate”
“The Ladder”
$3.990  71.5 Ready 1.8 Million
“The Harp”
$4.059  71.0 Ready with
extra costs
1.55 Million

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Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

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