After more than a decade of delay, a New NY Bridge to replace the Tappan Zee is becoming a reality. The first span of the new twin-span bridge is scheduled to open in 2016, and the new bridge should be complete in 2018. The new bridge will be designed and constructed to last 100 years without major structural maintenance.
The New NY Bridge will mean less congestion for motorists, with eight traffic lanes, four breakdown/emergency lanes, and state-of-the-art traffic monitoring systems, as well as a dedicated commuter bus lane from the day it opens. Designed and constructed to be mass-transit-ready, the new crossing will be able to accommodate bus rapid transit, light rail or commuter rail. The bridge will also include a bike and pedestrian path.
Plans for a new bridge to replace the Tappan Zee were first discussed in 1999, and over the next 11 years $88 million in taxpayer dollars was spent, 430 meetings were held, 150 concepts were consider – but the project did not move forward.
Under Governor Andrew Cuomo's leadership and with the support of President Barack Obama and the federal government, the project has moved from dysfunction to construction. Since October, 2011, new design-build legislation was enacted, concurrent environmental review and procurement processes were completed, a project labor agreement was negotiated with construction unions, and pre-construction activities commenced – all with an unprecedented level of transparency and community involvement.
Extensive measures will be in place throughout the duration of the project to protect the environment and to monitor the impact of construction on surrounding communities.
The total cost of the New NY Bridge project is $3.9 billion, far less than initially expected. The design-build contract for the bridge will help keep the project on-budget and on-time, because financial risk associated with most cost overruns or schedule delays lies with the contractor, rather than toll payers or taxpayers.
The bridge is being designed and built by Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC), a consortium of some of the world's best-known and most highly-regarded design, engineering and construction firms, including Fluor, American Bridge, Granite, and Traylor Bros., along with key design firms HDR, Buckland & Taylor, URS, and GZA. TZC is working closely on the project with a team of employees from the New York State Thruway Authority and the State Department of Transportation.
Tappan Zee Constructors Design-Build Contract
Contingencies and Allowances for Design & Other Changes
Oversight Engineering and Other Project Management Costs
Total Project Budget
The existing Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge toll bridge opened to traffic in 1955 and is a vital artery for residents, commuters, travelers and commercial traffic. Designed to carry up to 100,000 vehicles each day, daily bridge traffic has grown to about 138,000 vehicles. In recent years, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to maintain the structure. Heavy traffic and lack of emergency shoulders can create unsafe driving conditions on the bridge and lead to frequent congestion and frustration for motorists.