TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – The “H” shape of the new Tappan Zee Bridge may not be a favorite among residents, but state officials said it's here to stay.
“We think it's quite iconic,” Jeffrey Han said.
Han is a professional engineer with Tappan Zee Constructors, the design-build team chosen to construct the new bridge. “There's very few (bridges) like it, especially at this scale.”
State officials, along with members of the Tappan Zee Constructors team, spoke to the public and answered questions about the new bridge at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown on Monday night. Officials showcased the new $3.9 billion bridge's design and outlined the design-build process.
The new bridge will include two spans, each with four lanes of traffic and two emergency lanes. A pedestrian and bike path will be built on the northern span.
Han, and Project Manager Walter Reichert, said the design provided unique structural support and allowed for any future rail transit system to be built between the twin spans. The shape also allows suspension cables to be pulled away from the bridge.
The new bridge will also include suicide prevention methods, including video monitoring and phones. Special vertical fencing will also be used along the roadways and pedestrian path to prevent people from climbing over the railings.
“It is difficult to stop someone who is determined to hurt themselves, but we're doing everything we can in the design to stop that,” Bridge Advisor Brian Conybeare said.
Residents also questioned financing and tolls for the new bridge. Conybeare announced the formation of a toll and finance task force to examine those issues, including special discounts for Westchester and Rockland residents. He said the state is working to get a $2 billion federal loan and is looking at selling New York State Thruway Authority bonds to pay for the bridge.