The existing Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee toll bridge opened to traffic in 1955 and is an integral component of the regional roadway network. It has a total length of 16,013 feet including approaches. The main span over the navigable waterway measures 1,212 feet, providing a clearance of approximately 139 feet over the water. It was designed to carry 100,000 vehicles on a peak day but traffic volumes have grown to approximately 138,000 vehicles per day with a high percentage being intrastate and interstate trucking.
This project is intended to address the need to correct substandard structural, operational, mobility, safety and security features of the existing bridge. The existing bridge is prone to severe congestion and does not meet bridge and highway standards, such as lane and shoulder widths.
In addition, it requires an extensive and costly maintenance program to keep structural elements in a state of good repair. Traffic will be maintained throughout construction of the new bridge.