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Cuomo Bridge Opening Delayed by Demo Issue

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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The opening of the second span of the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, originally scheduled for this past weekend, has been delayed after a piece of the old Tappan Zee Bridge became unstable and threatened to fall.

At the time, the Tappan Zee was being disassembled, and the remaining structure is now being evaluated. The second span of the Cuomo Bridge will only open once the authorities are sure there is no risk to the new bridge.

Cuomo Bridge

The new Cuomo Bridge consists of twin cable-stayed spans, each stretching 3.1 miles total, with a 1,200-foot-long main span. The first of the two new spans opened in August 2017, at which point demolition of the old Tappan Zee began; parts of the old bridge have recently been scuttled in the sea near Long Island to create artificial reefs.

The first of the new spans will be converted to handle westbound traffic only after the newer, eastbound span is open to traffic; traffic had been traveling in both directions on the one span for the past year.

The Tappan Zee project has been touted as the largest bridge construction job in the state’s history, and managed to remain largely on schedule and on budget. According to the New York State Thruway Authority, which has overseen the project, the construction required 14 miles of main span cables, 300,000 cubic yards of concrete and 200 million pounds of American-made steel.

The design-build team behind the bridge, Tappan Zee Constructors, includes Fluor, American Bridge, Granite Construction, Traylor Bros., HDR, Buckland & Taylor, URS and GZA.

Tappan Zee Concerns

Early Friday evening (Sept. 7), crew members working on the old bridge heard a loud "pop," Terry Towle, the president of Tappan Zee Constructors, told CBS New York. Apparent issues with joints have been dubbed the likely culprit behind the collapse of the span toward the new bridge, which is only 160 feet away.

“After careful evaluation, Tappan Zee Constructors has determined that the old Tappan Zee Bridge east anchor span is damaged but currently stable with certain key components highly stressed,” Towle said. “This condition does not threaten the new, twin-span Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which is prepared and ready to receive traffic.

“While there remains a possibility of the old bridge east span failing, in the event it does, it will fall within a safety zone that does not affect vessel traffic or the structural integrity of the new eastbound bridge.”

The old Tappan Zee was inspected by engineers, and according to reports, the new structure is not in any danger. No date has officially been set as yet for the opening of the Cuomo Bridge eastbound span but officials say it may happen before Wednesday morning.

Traffic had previously been scheduled to begin flowing across the new span Saturday.



Tagged categories: Accidents; Bridges; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management

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