The Tappan Zee Bridge Replacement Project entered its next phase with the release of the final Request for Proposals (RFP) document. The four design and construction bidders have until July 27 to submit final proposals. A copy of the RFP can be found at www.thenewtzb.com.
Thruway Executive Director Tom Madison said, “This announcement brings New York one step closer to the Thruway Authority’s goal and Governor Cuomo’s vision of building a new Tappan Zee Bridge that will last 100 years and be ready on day one to accommodate future mass transit options. The hard work and cooperative efforts of the New York State Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, and the New York State Thruway Authority have created a set of specifications that will insure we maximize the public investment, provide important labor protections, and serve our customers as efficiently as possible.”
The RFP document is more than 1,000 pages and provides the four bidders with very specific requirements for their proposals to design and build the bridge.
Some highlights of the RFP requirements include the following:
In order to maximize the public investment, the contract will require that the new bridge be fully able to support transit, including allowing for Bus Rapid Transit and Commuter Rail if full systems are constructed on either side of the bridge in the future and provide immediate express bus service. This includes requirements for constructing additional lanes, structural reinforcement, and loading considerations to ensure the bridge can support both mass transit options.
Bikeway & Pedestrian Walkway
The contract includes a requirement for a 12-foot- wide shared-use path across the entire bridge that will include seating, bike lanes, and public artwork.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprises
Disadvantaged Business Enterprises will have approximately $400 million of contracting opportunities which are expected to generate more than 4,000 jobs.
The bidders are required to collaborate with stakeholders to ensure visual quality and aesthetics on the bridge. The selected bidder’s bridge renderings will be available for viewing by the public.
Intelligent Transportation Systems
Intelligent Transportation Systems are included to monitor traffic patterns, improve safety, and enable more accurate real-time measurement of travel times. In addition, an Active Traffic Management System will employ an array of sensors and dynamic color messaging signs to improve operations and safety by enabling a smoother flow of traffic. This will be accomplished by alerting travelers to upcoming congestion points, varying speed limits, and notification of real-time environmental conditions via embedded weather and visibility sensors.
Project Video Documentation
The selected bidder will be required to thoroughly document the construction of the new Bridge, including providing the Thruway Authority with up-to-date graphics, live video and simulations that chronicle the entire process on www.thenewtzb.com.
Highway Speed E-ZPass
The addition of three new Highway Speed E-Z Pass lanes is required to enhance traffic flow and provide environmental benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by driver cueing and congestion at conventional toll booths.
The July deadline for submissions represents a five-week extension that will enable bidders to benefit from ongoing geotechnical analyses and refine their proposals accordingly. “Smart early geotechnical work” being conducted during this time will help minimize project risk and protect against large contingencies and cost overruns.
Distribution of the RFP is the next critical step in the accelerated schedule for building a new bridge, and the four selected internationally renowned teams will now develop design and construction plans and cost proposals. Before the project was re-scoped last fall, deliberations about a bridge and corridor project had languished for a decade, including more than 430 public meetings and at least $88 million spent on planning and environmental studies.
Since securing approval for the project to be fast tracked by the federal government, the Thruway Authority’s accelerated schedule for building a new Tappan Zee Bridge, consistent with Governor Cuomo’s vision, has resulted in the completion of several milestones that would typically take months or years being accomplished in a span of weeks or months.
In less than five months, state and federal agencies have come together to meet an aggressive schedule in pursuit of the Thruway Authority’s goal and the Governor’s vision to break ground on the historic project this year, including issuing a draft environmental impact statement and selecting a short list of bidders for the project.