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For Immediate Release: September 19, 2008

Thruway Authority to Continue Tappan Zee Bridge Deck Replacement Project

The New York State Thruway Authority announced today that deck replacement work on the Tappan Zee Bridge will continue next week.  This project is part of the Authority’s on-going commitment to continue to fulfill its responsibility to maintain and operate the bridge by continuing to make the necessary investments to assure safe and efficient travel for the thousands of motorists that cross the bridge daily.

The deck replacement project will replace approximately 40 percent of the entire deck, focusing on the two right outside lanes in each direction from the Rockland County shore through the main span.

Work for the week of September 22 will consist of the following:

Use of new bridge plates: The work beginning Monday, and lasting several weeks, will necessitate the use of temporary traffic plates on the west deck truss spans.  These plates will be thicker than those used during previous work.  The one and one-half-inch plates are an essential safety element of this project that will allow work to proceed efficiently at night while allowing motorists to drive safely over the plates during the day.  The Authority is taking several specific actions to reduce any discomfort to motorists and to expedite the work.

  • The plates on the west deck truss spans will be spaced 250-feet apart to make them less noticeable to the traveling public (previously they were located less than 37 1/2-feet apart).
  • Bolts with rounded heads will be used and will generally be located out of the wheel path of most vehicles.
  • The plates will rest on a three-eighths inch neoprene pad to help reduce vibration.
  • Ramping plates will be used to bring vehicles gradually up to the level of the new plates.

Installation of New Deck Panels. This operation is weather-dependent and subject to change. Updates will be issued announcing any change in schedule. Lane closures during this operation:
Monday, September 22 through Wednesday, September 24

  • Work will begin at 8 p.m. resulting in the closure of two right southbound lanes, with an additional right northbound lane closing at 9 p.m., until 6 a.m. from milepost 17.0 to the East Deck Truss span on the Tappan Zee Bridge. During this operation, the southbound entrance at Interchange 10 will be closed and southbound traffic will be detoured on a posted detour route through Nyack to the entrance to the southbound roadway at Route 59 near Interchange 11.  Two left lanes in the northbound direction from Interchange 9 to the East Abutment will also be closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. as part of this work.  These lane closures are for the installation of new deck panels on the southbound Causeway and southbound West Deck Truss.  All lanes are expected to be open by 6 a.m. the following day.

Thursday, September 25

  • Work will begin at 8 p.m. resulting in the closure of two right southbound lanes, with an additional right southbound lane closing at 11 p.m., until 6 a.m. from milepost 17.0 to the East Deck Truss span on the Tappan Zee Bridge. During this operation, the southbound entrance at Interchange 10 will be closed and southbound traffic will be detoured on a posted detour route through Nyack to the entrance to the southbound roadway at Route 59 near Interchange 11.  Two left lanes in the northbound direction from Interchange 9 to the East Abutment will also be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. as part of this work.  These lane closures are for the installation of new deck panels on the southbound Causeway and southbound West Deck Truss.  All lanes are expected to be open by 6 a.m. the following day.

Friday, September 26

  • Work will begin at 9 p.m. resulting in the closure of two right southbound lanes, with an additional right southbound lane closing at 11 p.m., until 8 a.m. from milepost 17.0 to the East Deck Truss span on the Tappan Zee Bridge. During this operation, the southbound entrance at Interchange 10 will be closed and southbound traffic will be detoured on a posted detour route through Nyack to the entrance to the southbound roadway at Route 59 near Interchange 11.  Two left lanes in the northbound direction from Interchange 9 to the East Abutment will also be closed from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. as part of this work.  These lane closures are for prep work for the installation of new deck panels on the southbound Causeway.  All lanes are expected to be open by 8 a.m. the following day.

Saturday, September 27

  • Work will begin at 9 p.m. resulting in the closure of two right southbound lanes, with an additional right southbound lane closing at 11 p.m., until 9 a.m. from milepost 17.0 to the East Deck Truss span on the Tappan Zee Bridge. During this operation, the southbound entrance at Interchange 10 will be closed and southbound traffic will be detoured on a posted detour route through Nyack to the entrance to the southbound roadway at Route 59 near Interchange 11.  Two left lanes in the northbound direction from Interchange 9 to the East Abutment will also be closed from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. as part of this work.  These lane closures are for prep work for the installation of new deck panels on the southbound Causeway.  All lanes are expected to be open by 9 a.m. the following day.

For the safety of the public and construction workers, motorists are urged to proceed with caution and obey posted work-zone speed limits.  Work will proceed weather-permitting, and schedule updates will be announced as needed.

Traffic updates will 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.

Motorists may also sign up to receive email and text message traffic updates from the Thruway Authority’s TRANSalert system.  Anyone may subscribe to the free service at www.nysthruway.gov/tas by clicking on “Sign Up for TRANSalert emails.”

When complete, the new deck, along with related repairs to the superstructure, lighting, and rail will provide more reliable service, increase safety and add convenience for motorists using this vital east-west corridor. 

The Authority has implemented a number of measures to reduce the impact on motorists, preserve traffic flow, shorten the project duration, and reduce on-site noise levels.  Much of the work is being completed during off-peak, overnight shifts, generally from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., and redecking materials are being manufactured off-site with delivery just in time for installation.

The three-mile Tappan Zee Bridge, located about 13 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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