The New NY Bridge project reached a major milestone this week with the installation of the final steel-blue girder assembly for the new westbound approach span. The 290-foot structural steel assembly was given a ceremonial sendoff by Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC) workers at their Port of Coeymans staging yard prior to being barged down to the project site and installed by the I Lift NY super crane.
Since June 2015, TZC has installed more than 100 similar assemblies of steel girders on the new approach spans, many weighing more than 700 tons. These massive steel sections rest atop the new bridge’s concrete piers, and in turn support the new road deck.
If laid end to end, the new bridge’s girders would stretch for more than 30 miles, greater than the distance between South Nyack and the Statue of Liberty. In addition to supporting the road deck, the assemblies include infrastructure to carry communications, electrical power, water and compressed air to support bridge operations.
Each of these enormous assemblies were put together at the project’s Port of Coeymans facility in Albany County. The facility’s 16-acre footprint and ample waterfront allowed TZC to handle a number of critical materials safely and efficiently, including: girders; bearings; precast deck panels; and electrical and mechanical systems. Perhaps most importantly, the facility also provides direct access to the Hudson River, allowing the girder assemblies to be transported directly to the project site in less than a day.
Neil Napolitano, TZC’s approach span manager, called the Port of Coeymans “a great partner” in the $3.9 billion project.
“There’s been a huge value in getting a significant amount of our electrical and mechanical components installed on the girder assemblies before they get down to the job site,” Napolitano said. “Our subcontractors have done a significant amount of their work here in a very safe environment rather than on the river where it’s a lot harder.”
The assemblies were installed at the bridge site with the I Lift NY super crane, the only machine on the project capable of raising the massive structures. Along with a 1,900-ton lifting capacity, the super crane also utilizes a custom-engineered lifting frame to raise the project’s steel girder assemblies. The frame uses hydraulic cylinders to control each corner of the assemblies during lifting operations, allowing for precise placement.
The super crane will now perform various lifts for the eastbound bridge in Rockland. After undergoing maintenance, the super crane next year will assist with the demolition of the existing bridge and completion of the eastbound span.
Those interested in a closer look are invited to visit the New NY Bridge construction viewing platforms at Scenic Hudson RiverWalk Park in Tarrytown or at Memorial Park in Nyack. Can’t make it in person? View the daily progress via the project’s webcams and photo gallery, or follow the project on Twitter and Instagram.