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Footage Captures Tappan Zee Progress

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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Three years into what is considered to be one of the largest bridge construction projects in New York history, the New York State Thruway Authority has released a video chronicling progress on the New NY Bridge.

The time lapse video captures three years of work on the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project, distilling it into two minutes of milestones and materials usage.

“From steel girders to concrete towers, from piles to road deck, from shoreline to shoreline, the transformation has been amazing,” the Authority notes in its announcement.

Notable project elements featured in the footage include:

  • 1,100-plus steel foundation piles;
  • 220 million pounds of steel;
  • Use of the I Lift NY super crane;
  • 300,000-plus cubic yards of concrete;
  • Eight 419-foot span towers; and
  • 6,000-plus steel reinforced concrete panels for road deck.

The video debuted Thursday (Aug. 25) as part of Governor’s Day at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, a 12-day celebration that shares the best that New York State has to offer.

Recent Accomplishments

By late summer, crews had made progress on about half of the eight iconic main span towers, which began construction in August 2015, according to the Thruway site. Four massive concrete structures on the northern bridge now stand nearly 400 feet above the Hudson River, just feet away from their final 419-foot height.

The towers taper as they increase in height, the builders note, slimming down from 25 by 26 feet at their base to their current size of 15 by 17 feet. The project’s self-climbing jump forms are also modified along the way to match the narrowing shape of the towers, they add.

As tower segments are completed, crews raise the jump forms through a screw jack system so the next segment can be built on top of the preceding segment. Each of the bridge’s eight towers will require a total of 26 lifts, ranging from 12 to 18 feet in height.

New NY Bridge progress
New York State Thruway Authority

By mid August, Tappan Zee Constructors had built four of the eight angled main span towers to within 19 feet of their final 419-foot height. Construction of the towers began in August 2015.

Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) alters the shape and angle of the forms before each jump, ensuring that the next segment smoothly follows the angled shape of the towers, the Authority explains.

“We’re making remarkable progress on the main span thanks to hundreds of hardworking men and women,” said Skylar Lee, TZC’s area project manager for the main span. “There are only a handful of jumps left on the northern bridge before the towers reach their full height.”

The Authority credits rotating crews specializing in different aspects of the towers’ construction for the steady progress. While a team ties steel reinforcements for one tower, another crew pours concrete for a second tower, while yet another might raise equipment to a higher position for a third tower, they explain.

TZC’s crews will rotate between the northern bridge’s towers until they reach their full height later this year. Work will then continue on the southern bridge.

At the same time, TZC will continue to install the bridge’s stay cables to the towers. Six have already been connected, the Authority notes. The stay cables will be anchored to the interior of the towers and to the exterior of the road deck, and the resulting tension will support the main span roadway.

Project Overview

The $3.98 billion New NY Bridge is being designed and built to last more than a century without major structural repairs, according to the Authority.

When complete, the 3.1-mile twin span cable-stayed bridge will feature 419-foot outwardly angled main span towers and geometrically aligned cables.

It will carry eight traffic lanes, four emergency lanes, modern traffic monitoring systems, a dedicated commuter bus lane, and bike and pedestrian paths. It is also built to accommodate rapid transit, light rail or commuter rail.

The new bridge is scheduled for completion in 2018.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Bridges; concrete; Construction; Cranes; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Infrastructure; Latin America; North America; Program/Project Management; Rebar; Steel

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