Construction for the new Tappan Zee Bridge is now officially underway.
All the action we’ve been seeing for months in the river has been preconstruction work – test piling, geotechnical investigations, dredging. Just this week, permanent piles are being vibrated, and then pounded, in place to begin forming the bridge’s foundation.
“This week, we are putting shovels in the ground and starting formal construction on a new bridge to replace the Tappan Zee, the largest infrastructure project New York State has undertaken in decades,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a press release following the tour, which was cut a little short due to the threat of rain.
“After more than a decade of delay, New York State has moved this project forward at a dramatic pace while working with the community, involving the public and protecting the local environment," Cuomo said. "Once completed, drivers in Rockland, Westchester and surrounding areas will finally have a safer, less congested bridge that will include a walkway for pedestrians and bikers and accommodates future mass transit.”
The project, said Thruway Authority Chairman Howard Milstein, is on track with a projected build timeline in place of just under five years.
Bridge cam anyone? You can watch the progress up close as it happens on a new 'Construction Camera' section of the New NY bridge website.
The specifics of the five-year timeline to date:
· Dredging to prepare for bridge construction is ongoing until November 1, 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
There are reports that one of the world's largest floating cranes, the Left Coast Lifter, is in Virginia now, ever so slowly making its way upriver for the biggest show we'll see yet.