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New York State Thruway Authority

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For Immediate Release: April 26, 2007

THRUWAY AUTHORITY TO LAUNCH DECK REPLACEMENT PROJECT
Project Scheduled to Begin this Spring to Replace 40 Percent of Deck

The New York State Thruway Authority hosted Open Houses in Westchester and Rockland Counties on April 25 and 26, respectively, to provide the public with an overview of its plans to replace 40 percent of the deck of the Tappan Zee Bridge in order to improve service and ensure the safety of its customers. The deck replacement project, scheduled to begin this Spring, is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2008.

This important project is part of an ongoing strategic response to maintenance issues related to an overused bridge. In addition to improving service and ensuring the safety of motorists, the project will also improve mobility and reliability by reducing unscheduled repair-related traffic delays on the bridge.

The deck replacement project, expected to take place over a two-year phased schedule, will replace approximately 40 percent of the entire deck. This portion of the deck, including the west end of the bridge and the main truss, is in the most need of work and is therefore the most critical to replace. In previous years, the Authority replaced half the length of the center lane of the causeway and the entire east truss deck.

When complete, the new deck, along with related repairs to the superstructure, lighting, drainage system and rail will provide more reliable service, increase safety and add convenience for motorists using this vital east-west corridor. During the first year, work will begin from the Rockland County shore, working in the northbound direction on spans 1 to 20, on the main span, and then followed by spans 1 to 20 in the southbound direction; during the second year, work will take place on the remaining spans.

The Authority has implemented a number of measures to reduce the impact on motorists and to preserve traffic flow. Much of the work will be completed during off-peak, overnight shifts, generally from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., and day work will be limited to single-lane closures. The Authority will also implement construction innovations to shorten the project duration, and to reduce on-site noise levels, including the manufacture of redecking materials off-site with delivery just in time for installation.

In addition to the two public information meetings held this week, the Authority has initiated a program to keep the public informed on the progress of the project, along with potential impacts of the deck replacement effort on traffic flow:

  • A project website will be updated frequently at www.nysthruway.gov.
  • Information about the project will also be broadcast to motorists via Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) along the highway and by Highway Advisory Radio, 530 AM in the Tappan Zee Bridge Corridor, as well as 1610 AM in the Newburgh area.
  • Project updates, in addition to weekly construction information, will be sent regularly to the media.
  • The Authority’s TRANSalert system will also be used to provide customers with information about major unscheduled incidents that may affect their travel on the Thruway. Anyone may sign up for the free service at www.nysthruway.gov/tas.

The three-mile Tappan Zee Bridge, located about 15 miles north of New York City, carries the New York State Thruway over the Hudson River, between Rockland and Westchester Counties. The structure serves as a lifeline between New York City and Upstate New York.

The bridge carries over 140,000 vehicles every day, with volumes as high as 170,000 vehicles daily. When the bridge opened in 1955, it carried an average of 18,000 vehicles daily

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