Following extensive pile installation and other foundation work in the Hudson River over the past year, the first permanent, vertical elements of the New NY Bridge are beginning to take shape: Two 40-foot steel cage towers now stand near the Westchester shore. Soon-with the addition of high-strength concrete-the first pier for the westbound span will be created.
The New NY Bridge will be supported by an invisible, interwoven network of steel fortifications encased in more than one billion pounds of concrete. The combined strength of the concrete and the reinforcing steel bars known as rebar will enable the new bridge to serve New York for the next century or longer.
The New NY Bridge project reached a major milestone in late August with the installation of the first approach-span pile cap. These 300-ton concrete elements unify and "cap" the piles previously driven deep into the riverbed, and serve as foundation platforms for the bridge's piers. Dozens of the approach span pile caps will be will be built and installed between now and the end of the year.
The New NY Bridge Rockland Community Outreach Center welcomed a surprising visitor earlier this month: an engineer from the original Tappan Zee Bridge construction team. Jerry Sondack was in his late 20s when he helped build the existing bridge more than half a century ago. Now, as the replacement bridge rises out of the Hudson River, the 90-year-old World War II veteran stopped by to learn how the new structure is being engineered to meet the needs of the growing region.
The new twin-span bridge will have eight general traffic lanes - four in each direction. Space will also be provided for disabled vehicles, emergency responders and express buses and/or Bus Rapid Transit.