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Tappan Zee Bridge Construction Will Be Suspended Over New Year's Weekend

An ironworker ties steel reinforcement for a concrete barrier on the new Tappan Zee Bridge on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Construction work will be suspended over the New Year's weekend to aid holiday travelers.
An ironworker ties steel reinforcement for a concrete barrier on the new Tappan Zee Bridge on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Construction work will be suspended over the New Year's weekend to aid holiday travelers. Photo Credit: NewNYBridge.com

Construction on the new Tappan Zee Bridge will be suspended over the New Year’s weekend to help holiday travelers get where they’re going, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The move means all lanes will remain open from 6 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, to 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Some work may continue behind the span’s permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs, but it won’t affect traffic flow, the governor said Thursday.

“We're doing everything in our power to help New Yorkers get where they need to go as quickly and with the least amount of aggravation possible,” the Westchester resident added.

And with an estimated 93.6 million folks who will drive more than 50 miles from home during the holidays, there’s a lot of room for aggravation.

Cuomo also reminded travelers to obey the state’s “Move Over” law, which requires drivers to “use due care, slow down and safely move over when they see flashing lights on the side of the road.”

The year-end travel period runs until Monday, Jan. 2.

Meanwhile, the wintry mix of snow and heavy rain forced construction crews to suspend marine operations at the project site Thursday evening.

Inclement weather preparation protocols included inspecting and adjusting mooring lines, inspecting crane barges and securing all equipment, having tug boats on the water to provide rapid response, moving the large majority of cranes to shallow water moorings and taking all smaller crew boats out of the water.

Last year, there were several serious incidents at the project site, including a crane collapse in July that injured five people and closed traffic in both directions, according to multiple media reports.

Earlier that month, a tugboat became ensnared in a barge cable and nearly sank.

In March, a tugboat pushing a barge past the bridge collided with another tug and actually sank to the bottom of the river. Three crew members were killed, according to media reports.

In 2013, an intoxicated Nyack resident plowed his boat into a construction barge, killing two of his passengers, also Rockland residents. He got two years in jail in the deadly incident, which spurred lawsuits and questions about safety, media reports at the time said.

A year later, rough seas and winds were blamed for causing a barge to break free from its moorings there and float down the Hudson. Also in 2014, two floating concrete plants had to be temporarily shut down after a silo collapsed into the river.

Things that are yet to be done on the new $3.98 billion structure include:

  • Deck panel installation
  • Stay cable installation
  • Support for river-based work from the Rockland trestle
  • Survey inspections on the existing bridge
  • Utility work at the Westchester landings
  • Concrete roadway placement at bridge landings
  • New police facility construction in Tarrytown
  • Pier foundation work
  • Maintenance dock construction
  • Maintenance facility construction
  • Overhead gantry installation
  • Bridge utilities installation
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