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Union Tpke

Crane Collapses on Tappan Zee Bridge and messes up many commutes

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http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/20/nyregion/crane-collapse-tappan-zee-bridge.html

A crane collapsed on the Tappan Zee Bridge in the midst of work on the bridge’s replacement on Tuesday afternoon, injuring five people and shutting down traffic for hours in both directions, according to New York State and local authorities.

The crane, one of 28 being used in the construction of the $3.9 billion replacement for the aging bridge — what is being called the largest infrastructure project in the country — fell around noon on the Rockland County side of the bridge, the authorities said.

None of the injuries were life-threatening, said Ed Day, the Rockland County executive. Three motorists were hurt in vehicles that swerved during the crane’s fall, Mr. Day said, and two workers on the construction project were also injured.

No vehicles were struck by the crane, the authorities said.

Aerial images showed the broken crane draped across all lanes of the bridge, which 138,000 vehicles cross every day traveling between Rockland and Westchester Counties.

 

 

 

During the summer, I work at a Jewish day camp in Nyack. A lot of us travel to Westchester. My family is the only one that travels to and from Queens. We usually take the Tappan Zee, so we took the Palisades and the GWB.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/lessons-from-the-tappan-zee-bridge/404032/

"In 1950, engineers suggested sites for the original Tappan Zee Bridge in locations where the Hudson River is about a mile wide. Former New York Governor Thomas Dewey rejected those locations because they fell within the jurisdiction of a bi-state authority, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Dewey didn’t want toll revenues on the state’s new bridge to be shared with New Jersey, so he decided to build the bridge a few hundred feet north of that jurisdiction—in perhaps the worst location—where the river is more than three miles wide and the foundations of the bridge could not reach bedrock."

After the bridge was completed in 1955, it sparked a housing boom and encouraged corporations to move their headquarters from Manhattan to new suburban office parks. This led to a problem on the bridge that corporate officials thought they had left behind—recurring highway traffic congestion.

 

This collapse emphasizes how dire the need is to replace the Tappan Zee. The bridge was built cheaply in 1955, during the midst of the Korean War. The bridge was only supposed to last 50 years. Because of the horrible condition the bridge is in, I know some people who refuse to drive over that bridge. There is a hole in the bridge.

I know that they are building a new bridge parallel to the existing span, but it is taking too long. Also, they blew an amazing opportunity by not putting train service on the bridge, as it was proposed. They could have had trains running via the I-287 corridor, and via the new bridge, with a track connection to the Hudson Line for direct service to Grand Central. I was talking with some people, and they said that they would love this service.

However, it is not completely doomed as the new bridge will be able to accommodate BRT, LRT, or commuter rail.

"A driving force behind the main-span design was the need to accommodate a future Metro-North commuter rail line. “The foundations needed to support heavy rail without [crews] needing to work in the river,” says Bergman. The outward-leaning legs of the main-span towers are designed so that a third deck can be built between the twin structures to handle commuter rail, he says. “The towers are arranged such that the inner legs can be connected at the top and cable anchorages installed between,” he says.

"The NYSTA invested $300 million to prepare the structures for future rail, but, when open, the new bridge will have room for dedicated bus lanes."

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http://www.enr.com/articles/39059-the-new-ny-bridge-over-the-hudson-river-is-halfway-to-finish

 

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