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Tappan Zee Project Gets New Engineer

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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An engineer with experience in designing long bridge spans in cold weather has been hired to complete the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project.

Jamey Barbas, who previously worked for the international bridge design company Louis Berger, will take over the engineering role for the New NY Bridge. The Journal News reported Monday (Nov. 23) that the New York State Thruway Authority hired her to replace Peter Sanderson, who became the bridge’s project director in February 2013.

Sanderson will remain on the bridge project, the daily newspaper reported.

Qualifications and Experience

The new engineer’s experience includes leading the reconstruction of the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City and designing a highway in Montreal. The latter is one of North America’s largest public-private (P3) partnership bridge projects. In total, she has 33 years of experience, the newspaper said.

Photos: New York State Thruway Authority

Jamey Barbas has been named the new project engineer for the New NY Bridge, which is being built to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge that crosses the Hudson River.

Barbas will work with the joint venture Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC) to keep the bridge on schedule to open in 2018. The span was supposed to open in December 2016, but has been pushed back to allow crews to work on the crossing itself, The Journal News reported.

As previously reported, the project hit the halfway mark in September after a series of setbacks. Construction finally rose above the Hudson River near the beginning of fall.

Need for a Change

Thruway Authority chief Robert Megna—who will be leaving for a new job early next year—said that now that the bridge project is heading into a New York winter, the transportation agency needed an engineer familiar with building bridges in cold climates.

“We’re at a point in the project now where we’re out of the water and the person we’ve hired is more of an expert in both winter work, which is now something that we feel we can engage in, and also in the production of bridges at this stage,” Megna told the daily newspaper. “Jamey is fantastic and has jumped right in.”

The authority hired Barbas because she has experience both in long bridge construction and in bridges being built in cold-weather climates. Bridge work will continue through the winter season.

Megna also said Sanderson has been an asset to the project and was particularly helpful when the bridge project still was mostly under water.

“He was able to make many suggestions to TZC, which they adopted, which I think have saved time and solved problems,” Megna told the editorial board of The Journal News.

Project Progress

While meeting with the staff at the daily paper in the heart of the Hudson Valley, Megna also gave an overview of the new bridge’s progress.

To date, the Thruway Authority and TZC have:

  • Designed 99 percent of the 3-mile-long bridge;
  • Completed 55 percent of the concrete piers;
  • Built 46 percent of the steel girders and installed 27 percent of them;
  • Fabricated 34 percent of the 7,000 deck panels and installed the first ones in October;
  • Poured the concrete for 13 percent of the eight main towers that will support the cable stayed bridge;
  • Completed all of the dredging; and
  • Employed 5,000 workers—1,588 of which are currently working on the bridge.

The team working on the bridge also has added new photos and videos to its website,


Tagged categories: Bridges; Department of Transportation (DOT); Engineers; North America; Program/Project Management; Roads/Highways

Comment from Mark Lewis, (11/30/2015, 12:32 PM)

Is that the Left Coast Lifter I see in the second photograph?

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