Presentation Gives Students Inside Look at New NY Bridge Project
Students from several automotive classes on the SWBOCES Center for Career Services campus had the chance Jan. 5 to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to build a twin-span replacement bridge, the developing state-of-the-art structure that will take the place of the 62-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge.
In an hour long presentation, Dan Marcy of the New York State Thruway and a member of the educational outreach team for the New NY Bridge Project, explained to students the mechanics behind the construction of the bridge, the various stages of the $3.8 billion project and all of the equipment that is necessary to bring it to a successful completion.
The new cable stay bridge is being supported by approximately 1,000 steel foundation pilings sunk 300 feet into the river and positioned underneath each of the bridge’s concrete piers.
The foundation of the bridge is critical, said Mr. Marcy, because it supports the entire weight of the bridge and the traffic loads it will carry.
It will have more than 190 stay cables, which are anchored to the interior of the bridge’s concrete towers and to the sides of the structural steel field sections.
To date, about 60 stay cables have been installed.
To accommodate the ongoing construction, two floating plants have been sitting on the river so that concrete can be made nearby and poured into the developing bridge. Mr. Marcy said that more than 300,000 yards of concrete will be used, enough to build a sidewalk from the construction site to Key West, Fl.
Referring to the super crane called “I Lift NY,” Mr. Marcy said the giant machine is the largest one of its kind on the project. It has the capacity to lift more than 1,900 tons, which is 12 times the weight of the Statue of Liberty, he said.
The project wouldn’t be complete, however, and might run into problems without the help of tugboats, which he described as the project’s “workhorses.” They are capable of pulling the super crane all across the river, he explained.
The westbound span is expected to be finished later this year. A bike and walking path is also planned for the new bridge.
A time-lapse video of the construction work from August 2016 to October 2016 can be seen here: https://youtu.be/WSGBR3t5QOM.