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Mario Cuomo Bridge

As Others See Us: Blowing Up The Tappan Zee Bridge

Engineers Ask Permission To Use Explosives To Take Down What’s Left of the Original TZB

Sept 4, 2018 photo of the original 1955 Tappan Zee Bridge in the process of being demolished. Photo Credit: Dave Zornow

Sept 4, 2018 photo of the original 1955 Tappan Zee Bridge in the process of being demolished. Photo Credit: Dave Zornow

Here’s a special anniversary present you should hope you never get. One week short of its 63rd birthday, engineers at Tappan Zee Constructors are requesting permission to take down the remainder of the bridge with explosives.
“Worker safety concerns could spark new plans on how to demolish the remnants of the old Tappan Zee Bridge in New York,” reports Engineering News-Record.

Contractors earlier in the fall submitted plans to use explosives to take down the old span, Federal Highway Administration spokesman Doug Hecox told ENR. That’s in contrast to the procedure that had been in place: dismantling and removing the bridge piece by piece. Source: Engineering News-Record, 12/7/2018

On Dec 15, 1955 New York State Governor Averell Harriman and Actress Helen Hayes joined the mayors of Nyack, South Nyack, Suffern and Tarrytown and a motorcade of 400 cars to dedicate the Tappan Zee Bridge. “Nyack and the surrounding area assumes its position on the ‘Main Street of the Empire State’ today and the new Thruway bridge brings it within easy commuting range of metropolitan New York,” said NYS Thruway Chairman Bertam D. Tallamy.
Governor Harriman was evasive about the name — because it wasn’t officially named the Tappan Zee Bridge until two months after the dedication.
Mario M Cuomo Bridge
The Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge, named after the father of the current governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, opened its northern span in August 2017 as a replacement for the 1955 Hudson River bridge crossing on the NYS Thruway. The opening of the second span was delayed by several days last September over concerns that the original bridge might collapse.
FHA spokesman Hecox says there are serious safety concerns for bridge workers which are causing Tappan Zee Constructors to revisit their original plans for demolishing the TZB. “The east span is tilting and is structurally unsound,” he said. “So workers can’t get on it — it’s unsafe for them to be on it.”
Demolition of the original bridge was never in the plans. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the New NY Bridge project included requirements for mitigating environmental concerns including “bubble curtains” to protect fish from the acoustic effects of pile driving and limits on dredging activity to avoid peak fish migration and spawning. During the two seasons of dredging the channel during construction, a  National Marine and Fish Services approved species observer was designated to be on site to ensure that any sturgeon captured were documented and released. In 2013 and 2014, TZC halted dredging operations by October 31 to avoid disturbing the migration and spawning patterns of sturgeon and other fish.
As Others See Us is an occasional feature that publishes what media outside of Nyack say about the people and places in the Lower Hudson Valley.
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Our Aquarium On The Hudson

June 11, 2014

If you own a home aquarium, some of the things the TZB crews are doing may sound familiar, like aerating the water and lining the bottom with gravel. But their work is on a massive scale and for a different purpose than the maintenance you might do at home for your goldfish.
Last year, 844,000 cubic yards of mud were dredged from the Hudson River for the Tappan Zee Bridge project. Beginning this spring, crews will start to “armor the channel,” filling the dredged channel. Motorists on the bridge may have seen the floating platform used for this task, equipped with a conveyor belt and a chute. By lining the channel with rock, larger marine equipment can be used without kicking up silt which reduces the water quality and poses a hazard marine life who call the Hudson their home.
Bubble Curtains are another fish-friendly feature of bridge construction. During pile driving, compressed air is forced through a set of rings that encircled the pile to reduce the impact of sound waves created by the pile driving.
River dredging will start up again on August 1 and conclude by October 31 before the season when the Atlantic Sturgeon spawn and migrate.
Source: A Big Tappan Zee Bridge Milestone You Will Never See, Nyack News And Views 6/11/2014

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