For immediate release: March 3, 2014
Contact: Brian Conybeare (914) 524-5444, (845) 705-3302
TARRYTOWN RAMP FROM SOUTH BROADWAY TO TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE TO CLOSE FOR CONSTRUCTION ON MONDAY, MARCH 10
The entrance ramp to the Tappan Zee Bridge (I-87 northbound/I-287 westbound) from South Broadway (Route 9) in Tarrytown will close to traffic for the duration of the New NY Bridge project, beginning at approximately 10 a.m. on Monday, March 10.
Working in close cooperation with local municipalities, the New York State Thruway Authority, the state Department of Transportation and Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) have taken several steps to inform the public about the closure, and to direct drivers to the entrance ramp located nearby on White Plains Road (Route 119).
The actions include:
As a result of the closure, motorists who wish to travel northbound or westbound on the Thruway will be directed to bear right immediately after the closed ramp, onto what is referred to as the “jughandle” for Route 119. Motorists will proceed approximately 0.2 miles east on Route 119, turning right onto the I-87 northbound/I-287 westbound entrance ramp.
“We’ve heard the concerns loud and clear from our stakeholders and are taking every measure we can to inform everyone about the closure,” said Special Advisor to the Governor Brian Conybeare. “Thousands of emails and postcards have been distributed and signage is being installed at various locations to inform motorists of potential problems and redirect.”
The ramp from Route 9 southbound to I-87/I-287 – known as “Ramp E” by the Thruway Authority – has been routinely closed for bridge-related maintenance projects in the past. Its complete closure is required to ensure safety for the traveling public and construction workers for the duration of the construction of the New NY Bridge.
TZC will shift Thruway traffic lanes onto the existing ramp area, effectively making it part of the highway. The space surrounding the ramp will be utilized for construction access, staging and equipment, thereby reducing the amount of construction traffic on local roadways. New retaining walls are also planned for this area.
Prior to the start of the New NY Bridge project, the Thruway Authority conducted a comprehensive traffic study to determine the potential impact of closing Ramp E, and earlier this year TZC conducted an additional traffic study to verify its results. Findings from both studies indicate that the closure by itself will not have a significant impact on traffic though when traffic severely backs up on the Thruway, local streets could still be impacted.
Ramp E was initially closed on Dec. 5, 2013, but was later temporarily re-opened to traffic following several major delays that resulted – intermittently – on and after Dec. 13.
“TZC and the Thruway Authority wanted to give motorists a break during the busy holiday travel season, but now that spring is approaching and construction work is rapidly increasing we have to close this entrance ramp to keep drivers and workers safe, and keep the project on schedule,” said TZC spokesperson Carla Julian.
While the detour itself was determined not to have caused the traffic, a combination of events – including multiple accidents and a vehicle fire on the Tappan Zee Bridge, snowy weather and emergency repairs on the George Washington Bridge that diverted extra traffic to I-87/I-287 – all contributed to those delays.