The New NY Bridge outreach team met with students from Liberty Elementary in Valley Cottage, who created birthday cards in celebration of the Tappan Zee Bridge’s 60th anniversary.
Sixty years ago this week, the Tappan Zee Bridge was dedicated. The day of ceremony was punctuated by dignitary speeches and culminated in a 400-car motorcade making the inaugural crossing.
To commemorate the anniversary of this critical connection across the Hudson River, students from Liberty Elementary in Valley Cottage presented the New NY Bridge outreach team with an enormous celebratory banner depicting the importance of the old bridge and made individual 60th birthday cards.
The outreach team visited with the Liberty Elementary students to engage them in a discussion about the history and future of the Tappan Zee. Students learned the existing bridge now carries 138,000 vehicles a day – seven times more than it did during its initial years of service – and that the new crossing is designed to handle the demand with an additional travel lane, safety shoulders and a shared-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.
“The project is part of our community, so it’s great to have the children learn directly from people involved on the project,” said Ellen Rechenberger, principal of Liberty Elementary. “This is actually the second time the project team has visited our school, so we’re keeping ourselves informed as the project progresses.”
The new crossing is being built with elements that commemorate the history and engineering of the original Tappan Zee Bridge. On the shared-use path, pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to stop at scenic outlooks as well as other locations along the path to learn about the history of the crossing and the construction of the original Tappan Zee Bridge in the early 1950s.
While the existing bridge will be long gone by the time Liberty Elementary’s students reach driving age, today’s session with the project outreach team – and others like it that are anticipated to reach an estimated 40,000 students in the Hudson Valley and beyond by the time the new bridge is completed – are helping ensure the old crossing’s history is remembered and its replacement is understood.
If you are interested in learning more about the project’s educational outreach effort, please contact the outreach team at NewNYBridge.com/contact.