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Tappan Zee Bridge Experience: TZB Viewed From Water

New City — Over the past five years, Rockland residents have had a front-row seat to one of the largest infrastructure projects under way in the United States: the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge with a larger and more visually arresting span. Since construction of the new bridge began in 2014, the Historical Society of Rockland County (HSRC) has offered exclusive opportunities for the public to see this important undertaking during its Tappan Zee Bridge Experience: Past, Present and Future history excursions on the River Rose paddle wheeler.
The Historical Society of Rockland County is a nonprofit educational institution and principal repository for original documents and artifacts relating to Rockland County. Its mission is to acquire, preserve, and exhibit objects, buildings, and sites that reflect the history of Rockland County and the Lower Hudson Valley and to research, document, promote, and publicize the county’s rich historical heritage for the people of Rockland.
Tappan Zee Bridge Experience boat trips are one of the only ways for people who do not own (or have access to) a boat to see the construction of the new bridge and demolition of the old bridge from a unique, mid-river vantage point. “We’ve held a total of eleven tours since the summer of 2014, and all of them have sold out,” says Larry Singer, past president of the HSRC and the program’s organizer. “It’s been amazing—well beyond our expectations.”
In 2017, Dr. Singer earned an “Award for Excellence” in historical society programming from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network for the Tappan Zee Bridge Experience series, which so far has allowed more than 1,500 people to get up close and personal with Hudson River history in the making. Many of the participants have recalled and reminisced about the opening of the Tappan Zee Bridge in 1955 and how, by opening the county to new residents and visitors, that event changed Rockland from a rural farming community into suburbs. The twenty-first century span is sure to continue to bring change by providing access to the recreational, residential, and historical treasures that lie on the bridge’s western side.
The next Tappan Zee Bridge Experience boat trip will take place on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. The River Rose will leave Haverstraw Marina at 9:30 am; pass under the bridge and construction site (or as close to it as the vessel can legally and safely get), and return to Haverstraw Marina around 2 pm, depending on tides. A second trip is scheduled for Friday, July 20, 2018; tickets will go on sale on June 1. A box lunch is included in the ticket price, and both trips will feature narration and commentary about Hudson Valley history. Historical Society members will also be on hand to answer questions about the past, present and future of the bridge over the Tappan Zee.
For more information about the 2018 “Tappan Zee Bridge Experience” boat trips or to purchase tickets, visit the HSRC’s website at www.RocklandHistory.org or call us (845) 634-9629.
The HSRC is open Wednesdays–Fridays, 10 am–5 pm, and on Sundays, 12–4 pm (during exhibitions, events and programs). Library research and tours of the Jacob Blauvelt House are available by appointment by contacting (845) 634-9629. For additional information about HSRC, visit its website at www.RocklandHistory.org


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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