Operations started at the Westchester and Rockland landings in early October, with workers from Tappan Zee Constructors dismantling and removing sections of concrete roadway and steel support structures. To date, TZC has removed 9,200 square feet of road deck and more than 900 cubic yards of concrete from the old bridge’s abutment.
Dismantling efforts will move further away from the shorelines toward the middle of the Hudson River this fall and winter. Work above the water primarily involves cutting and dividing sections of steel and concrete into manageable sections, which can then be removed by the floating cranes. The steel and concrete sections are placed on barges for transportation offsite.
Many concrete materials and steel trusses will be recycled. More than 130 concrete deck panels units, each approximately 13 feet wide by 50 feet long, will be given to nearly a dozen state and local municipalities to be repurposed for other bridges and roadways.
The project’s largest crane, dubbed I Lift NY, will remove the biggest sections of the old bridge. It took out the first section near the Westchester shoreline this past Tuesday, with the second section – located above Metro-North Railroad’s Hudson Line – scheduled for overnight removal starting late tonight, weather permitting. The super crane will also remove 18 similar steel sections into next year, the largest weighing more than 1,300 tons.
Upcoming demolition operations include: the lowering of the old bridge’s main span steel cage via hydraulic jacks; and the removal of thousands of piles, hundreds of piers, 30 circular caissons (submerged, solid concrete cylinders) and eight rectangular caissons (submerged, hollow concrete boxes weighing up to 16,000 tons).
The dismantling of the old bridge will allow the project team to connect the second span of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge to land at both shores in 2018.